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SLRA resumes Clearance of Right of way in the Western Area
Ibraahim Sesay
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SLRA resumes Clearance of Right of way in the Western Area

SLRA resumes Clearance of Right of way in the Western Area

SLRA resumes Clearance of Right of way in the Western Area

The clearance of the Right-of-Way has resumed in the Western Area on Friday, 25 June 2021.  It will be recalled that the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) has held regional engagements on the operations of the Authority and the clearing of the Right-of-Way following the initial challenges in the Western Area.

Last week’s engagement in Kenema brought together key stakeholders, including the Resident Minister - East, Paramount Chiefs, Local Council authorities, Civil Society, the Security Sector, Traders’ Council representatives and the media.

During his presentation on the structure and operations of the SLRA, the Director of Operations Management at the SLRA, Ing. Alfred Jalil Momodu educated the participants on the scope and nature of the SLRA, national road network classification, status on-going road projects, short and long term planned road projects, proposed financing strategies, national plan for feeder roads, road maintenance issues, challenges and the way forward.

Ing. Momodu told stakeholders that government was very concerned about the improvement of the national road network for socio-economic development and that the Southern and Eastern regions are among the beneficiaries for the major road projects in the country.

There is a total of 26 major on-going road projects across the country. Eight among them are donor funded with counterpart funding from the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) while 18 of them are solely funded by GoSL. 

Among the major road projects, the Government of Sierra Leone has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with several contractors for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of various roads in the Southern and Eastern Regions, including the MRU Rehabilitation of Bo - Bandajuma Road [46 km], Rehabilitation / Reconstruction of Bandajuma - MRU Bridge Roads and Bridges Project [105 km plus three major Bridges], Rehabilitation / Reconstruction of Moyamba - Moyamba Junction Road (36 km  plus four Major Bridges], Rehabilitation / Reconstruction of Pendembu - Kailahun Road [28 km], Rehabilitation / Reconstruction of Roads in Moyamba, Pujehun, Mattru Jong and completion of Bonthe Township Roads and the Sea Face Protection [23km], Rehabilitation of Blama, Hangha and Dama Roads and Kefrey Bridge Kenema City, Rehabilitation of Bo - Mattru Road [Segment 1: Bo - Tikonko (10 km)], Completion of Bandajuma – Pujehun Road, Completion of Taiama – Njala Road and some lots among the Major and Minor Regravelling of Trunk Roads Nationwide (1828 km).

Amidst the many strides made to improve the road sector, Ing. Momodu lamented that the inadequate funding for the implementation of projects, low capacity of the local road construction industry, damage to road pavement due to excess axle load, misuse of the road structure by commuters, lack of adequate space or parcels of land for the creation of off-street and designated lorry parks and massive encroachment on the Right-of-Way are some of the key challenges delaying the work of SLRA.

The Chief Engineer, Road Reserve Division at SLRA, Ing. Edmond Tommy, educated the participants on the concept of the Right-of-Way, the legal instruments which empowers SLRA to be in charge of the Right-of-Way, the demarcations of the Right-of-Way,  showed pictorial evidences of some of the encroachments and hazardous practices of some individuals and communities on the Right-of-Way and the nature of the clearing process.

Most of the stakeholders in both regions, including the Resident Minister - East, Mr. Andrew Ansu Fatorma, applauded the efforts of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority and committed to help protect the Right-of-Way. 

Mr. Fatorma expressed his dissatisfaction on the disorganized and illegal erection of stalls along the Kenema City roads and the indiscriminate sales of land without regards for proper city planning. “Even if the government constructed all roads in Kenema, the city will not be beautiful because of the illegal erection of makeshift structures, and we cannot let few people to discomfort and delay the progress of the general citizenry because of their selfishness,” he lamented.

The Resident Minister appealed to all to comply with SLRA on the clearance of the Right-of-Way and warned that he would not tolerate defaulters to seek his assistance to evade the due processes.

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