News: Community effort makes travel to school, clinic possible
Story by Capt. Amy Rittberger
MONROVIA, Liberia – A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for two new culverts built by Armed Forces of Liberia soldiers and members of U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Three here Aug. 6.
Prior to the new culverts, the rainy season made it nearly impossible to travel the road to Bromley Medical Clinic and Episcopal Mission School.
The project started in mid-July and within a few short weeks travel was made possible. “There was about 12 inches of standing water when we showed up,” said U.S. Navy Ensign Daniel Curley, detail officer in charge. “We built the two culverts to help the water drain, therefore making it possible to drive to the school and clinic.”
With the project funded by the U.S. Embassy, materials purchased through local companies and construction done by AFL and U.S. Navy personnel, this was truly a joint effort.
“It was great working with the AFL,” said Curley. “They’re very hard workers and we were able to combine our different skill sets to complete this project.”
Cpl. Morgan Richards, AFL platoon sergeant agreed. “The Navy does construction a little differently, but we learned a lot from each other.”
No high-tech equipment was used for the project. The only machine available was a cement mixer, therefore most of the work had to be done with shovels and pick-axes.
Nathaniel Johnson, supervisor at Episcopal Mission School was thrilled to see the project complete. “I was so happy because before this the condition of the road during the rainy season was so bad cars couldn’t pass through,” he said.
Johnson helped out with the project by providing lodging for AFL soldiers, as well as a warehouse to safely store the equipment used.
Johnson wasn’t the only person to provide assistance to the military. Children who live in the area and attend the school also pitched in to help shovel dirt and rocks.
“The local citizens are fantastic,” said Curley. “Every person who walked by said thank you.”
In addition to building the culverts, NMCB 3 also built 165 chalk boards which were donated to the school.