Monday, July 14, 2008

Repairing the Interior Roads

Weather: Another five inches of rain last night brought our total this week to about 8 inches. Actually that's not too bad, just under the July weekly average of about 10 inches. Overcast skies most days, with variable breezes of about 10mph. Temps remain in the high 70sF, or in the mid 80s with the sun.

In Montserrado county, just a few dozen miles north of Monrovia, there is a little town of Johnsonville. Actually, there are a few towns up there. But the road, like most interior roads, are in very poor condition after years of neglect and annual rains. Roads mean commerce. Roads mean jobs. And for the people of Johnsonville, actually rebuilding their own road means jobs too.

The International Labour Organization has contracted with the people of this little village to do work that would wait a long time if it was left up to the big road building NGOs. The villagers are fixing the road themselves. You can imagine what the work is like-- no heavy machinery, just shovels and wheel barrows, and one small smoother. Every man and woman gets three dollars a day from ILO.

Another glimpse of life in Liberia. A people rebuilding their nation. With shovels and wheelbarrows.

I love this shot. In the foreground, the job is finished. Down the hill, they work. Up the other hill, the job that waits.
The hillside is shaved with shovels and the dirt is carried away. Men and women work together.
Down the road, Johnsonville men poor concrete into molds to make culverts.
Preparing the road as the laughably tiny smoothing machine does its work.
Meanwhile, back in Michigan, Hannah hugs while Noah mugs.