Paynesville to Eliminate Street Selling and Car Loading Near ELWA Junction

PAYNESVILLE, Montserrado − The Paynesville City Corporation has set June 30 as the deadline for street selling and loading commercial vehicles near the newly constructed ELWA Junction roundabout.

The city’s communications director, Jeremiah Diggen, said June 30 would end the two-month grace period given to street sellers and commercial drivers to leave the ELWA Junction vicinity.

Diggen said the city would begin to enforce its orders to remove all street sellers and commercial drivers who will violate the mandate.

He described the restricted area as starting from the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex to the newly constructed roundabout and from the roundabout to the SKD Boulevard Junction. The A.B. Tolbert Road segment extending from the roundabout to the Hope of Women Clinic intersection will also be restricted.

Diggen said the city wants to keep areas that serve as the entrance to the main city clean and beautiful: “ELWA junction is a major route; it goes and comes from the country’s only international airport. The junction also leads to the main city of Monrovia. Street selling and parking that will create dirt give the place an ugly look should not be along the route.”

Ahead of this enforcement, he said the city had engaged the street sellers and commercial drivers, and they were all fully aware of the deadline. Diggens noted that the city had engaged nearby markets to provide selling space for the street vendors. Meanwhile, the city police were training additional men and women to beef up the strength of the force. He admitted that low manpower has challenged the operation of the city police over the past years.

“The trainees will be ready for graduation this June, and comes July 1, 2024, we will have the manpower to clear the streets back by officers of the Liberia National Police,” he said.

View of the newly constructed roundabout at ELWA Junction. Photo by George K. Momo

Moses Sesay, a street money exchanger at the ELWA Junction, welcomed the decision to clear the sidewalks. He encouraged his fellow street vendors to accept the mandate and cooperate.

“On July 1, 2024, going forward, I will not come here to sell,” Sesay said. “I have already secured a space in my community. I will remain there and what God approves for me will come to me daily. I am glad that this major intersection is about to see positive transformation.”

He told The Bush Chicken that although he has been operating at the ELWA Junction for more than three years, he is happy and prepared to give way to national development.

However, Diamond Sammy, a single mother of three who sells energy drinks on the sidewalk, appealed for an extension of the deadline to allow her to find another location. Sammy said this was her “only means of survival.”

She added, “If that happens, it means me and my children will become a burden to the community and society.”

Meanwhile, the Paynesville communications boss also revealed that plans are underway for the structuring of garbage disposal sites along the Japan Freeway, beginning from the Neezoe Junction to the double bridge that forms the boundary between Paynesville and Gardnersville. This move was in response to complaints that garbage bags were often found on the main driveway, impeding the free flow of traffic and threatening public safety.

Featured photo courtesy of George K. Momo

George Momo

George K. Momo is also a correspondent of Liberia Broadcasting System and manager of Cape Rock Radio. He serves as acting president of the Maryland Press Association and the secretary-general of the South Eastern Journalist Association of Liberia. He is the Press Union of Liberia 2018 Human Rights Reporter award winner. George started his journalism career in Kakata at Atlantic Radio; he has over eight years working experience in community radio journalism. George is also a senior student of William V.S. Tubman University College of Education majoring in Early Childhood Education.

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