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SLRA Compensates Affected Property Owners In The Eastern Province in Sierra Leone
By Augustine Samba
Jun 15, 2010, 17:10
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A whooping sum of Le 1.8 million was paid out to property owners along the SLRA right of way on the Kenema-Pendembu Highway last week end by the government of Sierra Leone through SLRA.

The head of the team, Mr. Hassan Turay informed the gathering of governments Agenda for Change, which included infrastructural development with the issues of good road network in the country a priority. He underscored the socio-economic importance of an improved road network system within the district, and their respective chiefdoms in particular. He therefore appealed to the recipients to accept the compensation not from the view point of the market values of the properties but as their individual sacrifice for the sake of national development.

A Beneficiaries pose with her Town Chief

He entreated the beneficiaries to pay a careful attention to the covering letter attached to their individual cheques. He said the attached letter on each cheque is important especially for those without ID cards for ease of identification at Eco Banks.

Included in the SLRA team were Training and Human Resource Manager Mr. Hassan A.

Turay and the Chief Engineer of the Project Mrs. Lauretta Sawyer who had earlier identified the beneficiaries for the compensation. Accompanying the SLRA team were other government officials from the Audit Service of Sierra Leone, the Civil Society Group and Human Rights Activists who ensured that transparency and accountability were the watchwords.

Beneficiaries patiently await their compentation package

At Mano Junction in the Nongowa Chiefdom, Paramount Chief Pa Amara Bona Vangahun II termed the day as very important and full of empathy. He thanked government for such consideration as he maintained that no one would have challenged government if it has refused to pay a dime, since it was in the name of national development. He appealed to his subjects to be frank in the identification of property owners. He cautioned them to be especially careful with properties belonging to strangers who had stayed with them over the years, but left as a result of the war.

Addressing the crowd, Mr. Turay referred to the compensation as governments own contribution towards the construction of the road which he referred to as counterpart funding. He appealed to the recipients to accept the monies in good faith since he said government is not paying the market value of their houses but a compensation to appease them for the lose of property which shall be destroyed in the event of national development.

A bline beneficiarie holds his compensation cheque

In Segbwema, the SLRA team was received by the Paramount Chief James Sheriff Coker Jajua II. He welcomed the team and thanked his people for the sacrifice they are making for the sake of development. He also commended government for the consideration by paying compensation for the loss of properties.

The head of the SLRA team Mr. Hassan Turay informed the beneficiaries of the time lapse for the start of the road network. This he said was as a result of late payment of compensation to the affected property owners. "Your properties will not be demolished without paying the compensations first," he said. He maintained that government is bent on improving the road network all over the country for which he said no sacrifice is too small in realizing this dream.

The ISU Korean buldozer at the Shegbwema camp site

A Human Rights Officer Richard Bayoh who formed part of the team of observers that accompanied the payment team assured the beneficiaries that they were there to ensure that every penny is spent according to governments plan.

In Daru, the team of paying officers, engineers and a host of observers were received at the Court Barray by the chiefdom speaker, section chiefs, town chiefs and the councillor.

The payment in Daru was to affected property owners in the Njaluahun and Jawie Chiefdoms both in the Kailahun District.

Daru bridge to be replacement by ISU

Though the Paramount Chief was absent, the Chief Speaker, Fadah Kallon warmly welcomed the team and went on to admonish his subjects to be law abiding, and asked for their cooperation and support to ensure that the payment exercise is successfully concluded.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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