Ganta Mayor Urges Property Owners to Modernize Buildings

GANTA, Nimba – Ganta’s mayor, Benjamin S. Dokpa, announced on several local radio stations that owners of properties along the main street should modernize their buildings to match the road project that runs through the city.

Dokpa said it would be very discouraging for people visiting Nimba and Ganta to see a modern road while the city’s buildings were still in dilapidated forms. He expressed serious concerns about the structures of which he said some were 40 – 50 years old.

Dokpa said the mandate would help ensure that property owners could later expand their buildings to include multiple stories, especially considering the increasingly high cost of land in Ganta.

Prior to the European Union-sponsored road project, there were many substandard buildings along Ganta’s main street, mostly constructed of mud bricks.

A view of Ganta's main street at the beginning of the construction. Photo: Arrington Ballah

A view of Ganta’s Main Street at the beginning of the construction. Photo: Arrington Ballah

The mayor suggested that owners who were not able to erect the recommended structures due to financial constraints should consider renting or leasing their properties to individuals who could meet the city’s mandate.

“This is not a mandate that will benefit me. This is not my property I am talking about here,” Dokpa said. “I am only creating the way that will allow you [properties owners] to have two to three buildings on a single land space in the future. All you have to do is to make the first construction very solid that will be able to hold two to three buildings on top.”

Renovation along Ganta's Main Street. Photo: Arrington Ballah

Renovation along Ganta’s Main Street. Photo: Arrington Ballah

This mandate was instituted years back by Dokpa’s predecessor, D. Dorr Cooper, who is now the assistant superintendent for the development of Nimba County. The mandate followed the signing of the Monrovia to Ganta-Guinea border agreement between the Government of Liberia and the European Union. The project is now in the final stage of the three-year construction process.

Following the conclusion of the road construction by China International Construction Company later this year, Ganta is expected to look much different than it did when the project started. Already, owners are scrambling to improve their buildings.

The famous Justina Bar and Restaurant under construction. Photo: Arrington Ballah

The famous Justina Bar and Restaurant under construction. Photo: Arrington Ballah

Bein-Garr’s Administrative District Commissioner, Shelley Brown, could not hold back her emotions when speaking about the rapid development of the city. She said she was very proud to see the level of development in Ganta, especially while under her administrative control.

“I must be grateful to God for the city mayor we have,” she said. “Hon. Dokpa is a real leader; the kind of person we need at this time.”

A resident of Ganta, Nimba County, Arrington has a background working with credit unions and other organizations dedicated to rural finance.

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