In Bong County: USD$115K Abandoned Town Hall Project turned Criminal Hideout, as Community Residents Call for Prompt Intervention, But…

By: Matalay Kollie, Bong County Correspondent

Duncan Village, Dementa Road, Gbarnga, Bong County-February 15, 2023: A US$115K uncompleted town hall project initiated by Bong County Senator Prince Kermue Moye in Duncan Village, Dementa Road, Bong County has officially turned a hideout for criminals harassing peaceful community dwellers.

Our investigation revealed that the projected was initiated in 2016, when Sen. Moye was Representative of electoral District 2, Bong County during the regime of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The project was part of Moye’s campaign Promises to the people of District during his tenure.

But Residents of Duncan Village in Gbarnga are calling on Bong County Senator Moye to complete his abandoned Town Hall project in order to ease the high rate of Criminal activities in the area.

According to the Duncan Village Chairlady, Madam Esther V. Sumo,
scores of disadvantaged youths or Zogos are using the abandoned building as a dwelling place and as well a means to harass peaceful citizens at night with no redress. “This abandoned place is very dangerous for us at night”.

Madam Sumo said the building is contributing to the increase in Criminal activities in the area; something that has brought fear upon residents of the community. “We hardly move at night especially from 7:00PM upwards“.

Meanwhile, further expressing their frustration, Duncan Village Community Chairlady accused Senator Moye for abandoning the town hall project for more than 5years with no tangible reason; something she said that should have been used for the training of Women and girls in Soap Making, Tie-ding of Clothes amongst other life-skills training programs.

Madam Sumo narrated that the Senator promised to construct three additional Hand Pumps to replace the only Pump that was serving as a source of drinking water which was damage as a result of the town hall construction, but to no avail.

Due to the lack of safe drinking water, the Duncan Village Chairlady revealed that residents are currently battling water-borne diseases as a result of fetching drinking water from opened wells and nearby streams in the area. The access to water difficulty has forced members of the village to move to nearby communities to purchase water from private hand pump owners.

“We have written the Senator on many occasions regarding our situation here and the problem the abandoned project is causing us but there has been no redress from his office up to now. A month ago we wrote a communication to him but nothing has happened”, Madam Sumo, Duncan Village Chairlady.

Residents have at the same time launched a passionate appeal to good-will individuals and philanthropist organizations to secure safe drinking water for hundreds of people in the area.

For his part, the CEO of the Construction Company hired to undertake the project, Gbarnga Budinessman, Mr. Ansu Saysay, attributed the abandonment of the construction of the town on the refusal to pay a balance of 95,500.00) from the LIberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE). An initial payment of Ninteen thousand five-hundred United States dollars (US$19,500) was paid to the company, for which, Works including the construction up to roof level was done and a balance for completion was outstanding.

“We began the project from foundation to roof level, we were only left with roofing and other inner work but LACE did not pay us. The day LACE completes our payment, we’ll complete the town hall”, Mr. Sasay said.

In 2016, a legal agreement was reached between Sesay Brothers Construction Firm and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) in the tone of one hundred-fifteen thousands United Stated Dollars (USD $115,000.00) for the town hall construction.

When Contacted, Bong County Senator Prince K. Moye, through text message, admitted initiating the project based on community residents request. He said it is a LACE project that started during the regime of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “It was initiated through me but since the Weah government came in, LACE has failed to finish it. I have engaged LACE since 2018 but everything is like the same with other projects that the Weah government has promised and hasn’t done. My personal town hall projects are all completed, namely: Gbartala, old iron gate community, Gwunemah, etc,” Senator Moye noted.

The Bong County Senator was elected twice in 2011 and 2017 as Representative of Bong County electorial District#2 before assencending to the Senatorial seat during the Special 2020 Senatorial elections that saw him ( Moye) narrowly defeating former Bong County Senator, Henry Willie Yallah.

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