The Road (September 2011)

I often complain about the road so I’ve provided some pretty classic pictures. Though the road is worse now in the rainy season, it is never what I would consider to be ‘good’. We are located in a somewhat hilly region so there is obviously some drainage problems and the entire road from the highway to our community is unpaved. I’m not sure of the exact distance but it is about an hour drive on a motorcycle. I spend quite a bit of time commuting to neighboring villages on bike: Agoi Ibami is 30 minutes away, Iko Ekperem is 20 and Owai is 3 hours.

I captured some scenes that aren’t even on the worst part of the road. As you can see there are several bikes that carry very large loads to and from the village(see right). I’ve seen more than a few bikes overloaded with plantain go over and spill the contents all over the road. Often the bike will get stuck and require the passengers to push(see left). Keep in mind that it is standard to put three people plus the driver on a bike that is typically 125CC’s. When there is the ever rare truck, it tends to get stuck rather regularly.
The biggest complaint of people in the village is the road. Everyone wants it fixed and the government isn’t doing anything. I personally think it would be better to just grade the road every year because if they build a road it will inevitably not have a proper drainage system which will end up with just pieces of road that will probably be harder to navigate than the current road. I have seen that type of construction before and overtime it actually becomes harder to manage than an unpaved road. Unfortunately drainage is not something that is frequently addressed in road projects here. So until then I’ll continue to hold on tight!

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