From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone's Kenema – Pendembu Road Project Now Kicks Off
By Our Eastern Province Correspondent
Oct 5, 2010, 13:33

Fleet of earth moving bull dozers and loaders on Friday, October 1 were put into action at Nyanyawama Section in Kenema City for the Kick-off of the physical earth-work of the Kenema – Pendembu road project.


Inspite of the inclement weather that day residents of Kenema district and representative groups from Kailahun district including parliamentarians, paramount chiefs, council members, all defied the weather and converged at the site to watch the Minister of Works, Housing and the Infrastructure Hon. Alimamy P. Koroma operate the bull dozer in demonstration of the commencement of the earth work and grubbing exercise.


The activity on that day, has now put to rest speculations about the uncertainty of the ‘Kenema – Pendembu Road Project’.


The Minister indicated that the occasion also symbolized government’s commitment and determination towards the fulfillment of the infrastructural priorities which would lead to the enhancement of the socio-economic empowerment of the nation.

While going on the test ride of the bull dozer the Minister maintained that government was concerned about the construction project and was desirous to ensure that the project is implemented as planned.


Minister of Works Test Rides a Bull Doser in Kenema


The Minister further went on to allay the fears of the Kailahun people of the history that all development projects in the district had only stopped at Pendembu town, “but this time round, history will not repeat itself”, he reassured.


The Director General SLRA, Munda Rogers informed the gathering that it is his instillations aspiration to accomplish the project within the specified period.  He therefore called on his engineers to show maximum commitment to the project by reporting misdemeanor for any immediate rectification.

While he calling on the Consultants to be dutiful he more over implored the residents of Kailahun district not to antagonize the contractors but to report to SLRA and/or Stakeholders of any misconduct observed on site.


Graders and Loaders ready for Grubbing

The Chairman Board of Directors of SLRA Mr. Ahmed C. Dumbuya in his statement of commitment reaffirmed their obligation of frequently visiting the work site for regular monitoring and supervision.


He also considered the role of his board members as statesmen who can in no way compromise their responsibilities to condone malpractice and a lesser fairer attitude of contractors or work force.


The Project Manager, Chief Engineer Arthur Davies indicated that in as much as the Project is a concern of government but he equally believes that it bothers him personally.  He promised to temporarily relocate his office from Freetown to the site and also requires his team of engineers to work round the clock to not only expedite the job but also ensure that a quality performance in terms of specification is adhered to.


Kailahun District MPs including Hon. Musa Sam, Hon. Borbor Sawyer and Councilors of Kailahun district maintained that they regard themselves as direct beneficiaries of the project, and as such would ensure that they do not only offer voluntary services of monitoring the project implementation but would also bring to the notice of stakeholders any misdemeanor discovered on site.  They also appealed to contractors to employ their youth who are badly in need of employment.

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation Osmond Hanciles recalled the high incidence of poverty amongst Sierra Leoneans due to the poor road network.  He believed that when such road project shall have been completed the poverty situation transportation problems and the socio-economic hike would surely vanish.


ISU Construction Company Lines Up Machines for the exercise



Chairman AC Dumbuya and DG Munda Rogers among others at the Ceremony

The contract award for the construction of the Kenema – Pendembu project was signed since January 25 this year by the ISU Construction Company of Korea and the first phase is expected to end by January 2013, a three years period.


Five International Donors including BADEA Islamic Development Bank, Kuwaiti Fund, OPEC and Saudi fund contributed to the project with government of Sierra Leone also contributing towards the payment of compensation and other royalties for land acquisition.

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