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Doe Community Road: Before and After

Jacob N.B.Parley
President George Weah
President George Weah

Since the inception of the Coalition for Democratic Change Government under the captainship of Former Montserrado County Senator and ex-international football icon, George Manneh Weah, I have been running a series of media opinions under the caption: President Weah’s Government Begins Bearing Good Fruits?

The publications began in   February, with the current one on the Doe Community- Clara Town Road marking the 8th Edition.

For the sake of setting the records straight, these publications are part of my personal contributions to see Liberia reach an appreciable level of development through worthy programs that are dedicated to constructively improving the lives of Liberians, mainly those who continue to be at the receiving end of society because of the harsh economic constraints they have been going through over the past years.

For a reminder, I started writing features on such developments since 2002, meaning that I still remain committed to using my writing  or media skills to   highlight issues that  are good for national growth and renewal as well as vices  that could  roll back the gains made  over the years to  move our beloved country forward.

The Doe Community that is now celebrating a new paved road as its ow, regarding how far it has come since birth in 1986.

As a youth who had just worked out of high school about three years before the Liberian civil war, I started off in this very slum community.

I took up a VR camera in 1988, trying to make ends meet by treading  places like the Clara Town Football Field,  Clara Town itself (around the then famous Big Apple Entertainment Center), Gilrata, Slip Way, Jallah Town and Plunker,etc. to search for customers.

Being a commercial photographer in Doe Community was also embarrassing, just as others who were   involved in other positive means of survival   felt during the community’s dark days. I was still living in Doe Community when I ran a United Methodist School for several years before leaving.

Doe Community nicknamed:

Doe Community was given a lot of names because of its, perhaps, dehumanizing condition, mainly its swampy nature and lack of paved roads.

1. It was at one point called Holy Land because people living there had to take off their shoes while going out of the area and coming back, including visitors. 
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2. At another time, Doe Community was nicknamed “Prove Your Love.” Such expression meant that only those who really had concern for relatives, friends and loved   ones living there could bear going through all the challenges associated with   paying a visit there.
Before taking the hands of my wife in a Holy Matrimony, I had difficult times keeping my previous relationship because of the way the community was looking those days.
  
During my early days with the Liberia Broadcasting System from 1998 to 2001, my reports on INFOMIX were dominated with the dehumanizing plight of Doe Community residents, as women and girls, at certain point went to the point of exposing their body as they had to roll up their clothes while crossing the water.

                         Doe Community Road Today (pictures, Brown)


                                    Doe Community Road today
1. I vividly recall that in one of my reports on Doe Community between 1997-1998, a youth of the area, Patten, slipped while crossing the rusty irons over the water and had his private part damaged. Patten, according to what the family told me at the time, developed urinary problem from the fall; especially looking at the strategic nature of the injury sustained by him.
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3. At another time I carried a report on ELBC Radio between 1996-1997 while on internship, an elderly pregnant woman almost gave birth in the open or lost her life when she also slipped into the water while trying to cross the water on the same rusty irons used at the time for crossing.
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3. During the rainy seasons when the tide of the water   reached its high, people had to use canoe to cross as the irons over the water were always buried by the rough water from the Montserrado River.



                               Doe Community Road before  
Some other residents, mainly students and those who had busy schedule or pressing engagements had to leave to area to temporally reside elsewhere during rainy seasons because of the embarrassment they were going through.  As I said from the beginning, I once lived there and therefore stand in an ultimate position to feel how the people are feeling today for having a paved road.

What is obviously an uncontrollable jubilation has hit the densely populated Samuel Kanyan Doe Community on the Bushrod Island, following the completion of what I will say, accounts for over 75 percent work on the road connecting the area with Clara Town.

According to what is carried on the bill board installed by the Liberian government through the Public Works Ministry, the total length of the Doe Community- Clara Town Road Project is 2.7 Kilometers.

Up to the time this feature is being published, I do not have factual information on the monetary value of the Doe Community-Clara Town Road Project. I am therefore appealing to my many readers to bear with me for not including the financial cost associated with the project. Please rest assured that in my subsequent article, such information will be included.

Doe Community; a review:

The area, today known as Doe Community is named after slain Liberian President, Samuel Kanyan Doe. The area was established in 1986 by Amos Togbehson Nyenneh, along with other residents of the area.

I can still recall some of the men who closely worked along with Chairman Nyenneh before and after the Liberian civil war. I am making reference to the likes of J. Julius Matilda and the late C. Wleh Dixon, popularly known as Onyan. May peace be unto the ashes of Mr. Dixon and all other strong advocates who were committed to developing the community, but unfortunately did not live to realize their dreams.

Mr. Nyenneh told me sometime between 1996-1997 during an exclusive interview that they took the decision to name the area after former President Doe in appreciation  of  the great work he was doing for Liberia, particularly,  residents of the  area, most of whom are from the Southeastern Region of the country.

During the interview, Mr. Nyenneh described President Doe as a man who had love for Liberia, especially in the area of development.

But I can freely say the story in Doe Community is gradually changing for the better, with a paved road.

During a brief visit there over the weekend, I realized that residents were in a jubilant mood because of the road.

Effects of the Doe Community Road:
Though the 2.7 kilometer road project has not been fully completed and dedicated, the initiative has begun brining the needed relief to the people.

1. There is   free movement of people, goods and services.

3. In addition, the level of accidents on the road, mainly amongst commercial motor cyclists will be reduced.
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3. The pavement of the road will also save motorcyclists and drivers from spending too much money on repairs or maintenance as the deplorable road was doing too much harm to their motor cycles and cars.

5. The paved Doe Community –Clara Town Road will shortly reduce traffic congestion in the Freeport area, as some cars coming from Gardnersville-Somalia Drive may choose to pass through the Community and join the main road at Clara Town Store.
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From what I see, a lot of other good things stand to come out of Doe Community as result of the paved road.

As a journalist with knowledge in International Relations, especially Development Diplomacy, I want to join the good people of Doe Community and Clara Town to say hats off to President George Manneh Weah for keeping his recent promise to pave the Doe Community Road, especially in the midst of resource constraints and competing national priorities.

I am told that one of the good attributes of good leadership is the ability to keep promises to the governed. However I personally look forward to the President’s desire for transforming Liberia extended to other needy communities across Liberia.

At the same time, I am calling on the residents of Doe Community and all those who will be using the road to ensure that the road is properly maintained.
The author holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Diplomacy and is reachable through jacobtheancestor@yahoo.com or by phone: 0886560455/0777604576
 

 


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