After the floods



Peter wrote....
We leave in about 3 weeks time and, although we won't be in the areas of
Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana that were hit by the floods for about 6 - 8 weeks
after that, I wondered if you could give me an indication of the residual
effect the floods have had on the road infrastructure of the effected areas. Are
routes normally passable even if with local detours around gaps,bridges down
,etc? Can we plan ahead and generally not worry about being unable to get
from A to B?
Peter, FWIW I have now been in the region since early October. I am in Liberia and mostly in Monrovia but been travelling to the borders of Guinea and Sierra Leone. Thankfully I have spent some time in a UN chopper but also has the dubious pleasure of mud plugging. (Though one chopper fell out the sky last Friday morning and they are now all grounded - ex Russian Afghan war veterans, the pilots too by the look of them!) I took a picture last Thursday of a truck in front of us in a single rut so deep that the high sides were visible by about 2 ft above the top of the trench. I sent Julian a picture of it for fun.
So, on to the rainy season, they tell me its been the worst for 25 years, a bailey bridge I crossed on a rubber plantation yesterday was a good 20ft above the river level and the owner told me that 2 weeks ago the water was just touching the structure below - hell I was here 2 weeks ago, thankfully I was in the city at the time. The roads are all passable as long as the person in front does not break down, or if there is a truck in front that has 2WD - and most do ! One night last week we had a loaded 75 troopie on its way to Voinjama in the north by the Guinea border and it got stuck in a queue of 25 behind a truck that could go no further. The occupants spent the night out in the forest. That's a bit creepy. A unimog went to tow the truck out.
I am being consulted by an organisation with 46 vehicles and nearly all TLC's or Hi-Luxes and none are getting stuck, though the bush drivers are good, but they do go through clutches at a good rate. All tyres are 7.50X16 AT's except the new Hi-Luxes which are now a smaller rim. Who needs MT's says the logistics manager !
We still get rain every night for about 2 hours, and naturally down by the coast it is extremely hot and humid. The rainfall inland is perhaps just 60% of that which falls on the coastal strip, so its best to stay inland where conditions should be a tad drier but the roads still suffer greatly. The crocs in the rivers are enjoying the extra water though !
I don't know if that encourages you or not, but be happy that life progresses whatever the weather. And remember that if you ever want help just ask a passing NGO Toyota and you will get it. Its all part of the cameraderie out here and the aid agencies have good bush mechanics and copious spares, and nearly all genuine parts too. HTH.
Monrovia, Liberia (& Linslade,Beds & Belgrade, Serbia) plus split personality !
'92 HZJ80 ex UN Bosnia surplus
PS. Peter sorry, this posting should have appeared a couple of days ago before you received my off-list mail with pictures. Email no so hot from here !


Very Interesting Jon and Jon

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