Gbarpolu County Citizens in the Diaspora
242 Gravelly Run Branch Road
Clayton, Delaware 19938
December 29, 2009
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
P.O. Box 9001
Capitol Hill, Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
Re: Paved Road in Belle Yalla
Dear Madam President:
We write to extend compliment of the seasons to you, your family, and your administration. We also take this time to say thank you for fulfilling your promise to connect Belle Yalla to other parts of Gbarpolu and Liberia via a paved road.
For more than 162 years, the name Belle Yalla was mostly thought of as a notorious prison camp used to incarcerate tax invaders and political opponents. When you made the promise in May 2007 to construct road in Belle Yalla, a lot of people thought your promise was just a mere political rhetoric. Their skepticism was based on previous political disappointments in Liberia. You fulfilled your promised!
The fulfillment of your promise is a huge courage not only to the people of Belle Yalla or Gbarpolu County, but to Liberia as a whole. We are sure this road development will deliver social transformation to Belle Yalla and help erase the ugly or negative image about Belle Yalla.
From all indications, your administration is proofing to be ready for a system of transformation touches various aspects of the Liberian society, from consciousness to economy, from politics to values, from technology to organization, and from culture to community, with the goal to rebuild our nation’s image so as to stimulate growth, and provide opportunities for local and national involvement in productive activities in Liberia. In this respect, road, ‘one of which matters most to residents of Belle Yalla and the Belle District’ after more than 162 years, has finally been addressed.
We see that your administration’s approach is giving the counties the opportunity to identify, select, plan, and implement their own projects. This approach is very important in community development. It explains why the country as a whole is now realizing the current level of development.
Madam President, if Chief Boatswain, Chief Bambu Zinnah, Chief Karvee Gbagbar, Chief Karvee Weedor, Chief Mbargulomeh Youngar, and Chief Gbomblee were alive today, we believe they would all be beating traditional drums in your honor. For years, these chiefs witnessed local dwellers struggle to construct roads with locally, made materials while the central government relaxed in the Executive Mansion and ignored the interest of the people they claimed to represent.
But you showed the people of Gbarpolu, Liberia and the rest of the world that your administration is determined to develop Liberia. Nothing could be more serious than risking your health and life and the lives of foreign dignitaries by walking over two pieces of log (Mischief Bridge) and going the distance you walked in one of the world’s thickest forests.
Again, as we say in Belle parlance, “mu mama tegbelegba” (Thank you very much).
Sam K. Zinnah
On behalf of Gbarpolu County Citizens in the Diaspora