By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
The disturbed residents of Nemakunku, a settlement in Kombo North District, West Coast Region, have lamented their poor road conditions for commercial vehicles to have access to transport passengers when it rains.
They have urgently called on the government and relevant stakeholders to come to their rescue. When heavy rain falls, the terrible road conditions make it seemingly impossible for not just passers-by and taxies but even bigger vehicles like vans to use the road. This situation prompted the commuters of the area to raise up their voice and seek for any form of assistance in order to make transportation easy for the residents especially women and children. It affects mainly residents from Jola Kunda, Koign Bi, Nema Misira and Nemasu (the new settlement between Nemakunku and Sukuta).
Speaking to this reporter about her plight, an old woman called Mariama Kujabi, believed to be in her 50s, told this paper that rainy season is usually a bad era for her. She said she sells vegetables at the Latrikunda Market and sometimes closes very early. She said vehicles used to run until 9pm and now that has changed as they stop working as soon as it rains, even for a little while. “The place where I live is very far from the market and my load is very heavy too as I carry my goods to and fro on daily basis. Sometimes, I load it on my head and walk up to my home,” she narrated.
One Modou Lamin Daffeh, a classroom teacher, expressed how difficult is it to go to school in the morning when it rains at night. He said on certain areas, water levels sometimes rise as high as one meters. “As a result of this, only able bodied men and women can easily cross this. It is very dangerous for children, older men and women or pregnant women as certain portions of the roads are water ways and that the running water flows turbulently sometimes,” he sadly said. He added that young people in the area managed to construct a locally made concrete bridge which is really helping but that it becomes unusable during heavy rains as the water level rises above the surface of the bridge.
Lamin F.S Drammeh, a youth leader, spoke at length about the terrible plight of the roads. He said the rain water from Wellingara and Nemakunku itself runs through Nemakunku and the intensity of the turbulent flow of the water has left all the major roads of the settlement unfavourable for car use. “The road conditions of Nema are in a state of emergency. When heavy rain falls, there is no way that one can have an easy access out. Imagine what will happen if a pregnant women is badly in need of urgent medical attention and there is no vehicle around? Even to have a town trip is a problem. Drivers usually charge an unreasonable amount of money banking on the fact that they may get stuck and stranded on the way,” he said.
The concerned residents have called on the government, the private sector and philanthropists to help improve their road conditions so as to allow easy access of vehicles. This, they believe, will help to make life better for them as transportation is key. They enjoin the Alkalo, Ward Councillor and the Brikama Area Council to collaborate and lead the way in engaging the government and other stakeholders so as to address the plight of these helpless commuters.