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Sierra Leone News: SLRA pays 116 people affected by the Bandajuma-Liberia border highway

The Sierra Leone Roads Authority has paid about Le1.8 billion to 116 people affected by the Bandajuma-Liberia Border Highway. The payment was made for dwelling houses and other structures, quarry sites, borrow pits and campsite. The money for the exercise was provided by the Government of Sierra Leone as its counterpart funding in a bid to provide complete access of the project sites to the contractor for the effective implementation of the project. The payment was done at the Zimmi Community Center, Zimmi in the Pujehun District and was witnessed by stakeholders in the road sector development, including civil society organizations, local dignitaries and the press. In his opening address the Deputy Director of Administration, Sidie Jawara lauded affected property owners for their patience with the government and the level of support they have provided to the Sierra Leone Roads Authority in the implementation of the project up to this stage and further solicited their continued support to see the project through. Compensation, he noted, is wholly the responsibility of the government of Sierra Leone and dispelled rumours that monies for compensation are provided by foreign bodies. He called on the community, especially the youths, to rely on the information provided to them by community leaders and not from rumour mongers. The 105km stretch links Sierra Leone to Liberia Border and it forms part of the Trans-West African Highway. The project is funded by the European Union, the biggest donor in the road sector development in the country. The project is divided into two lots. Lot 1 is the rehabilitation of 105km road stretching from Bandajuma to the Liberia border and Lot 2 is the construction of the Sewa River Bridge in Gondama, the Wanje River Bridge in Bandajuma and the Moa River Bridge on the Bandajuma Ferry Crossing. While CSE is doing the works on Lot 1 alone the contractor has partnered with the French bridge specialist, MATTIERE on the second lot. According to the SLRA Project Manager, Alfred J. Momodu, both lots are at their advanced stages with the contractor poised to complete works on these lots in 2020. He said that substantial works have been done on the three bridges and that the contractor is inputting final efforts to open these bridges to regular traffic. Asphaltic work on the 105km stretch is also substantially completed from Bandajuma as far as few kilometers to Zimmi. He however cautioned the youths in the community to desist from undertaking activities that have the potential to derail the project.

SB/3/4/19

Thursday April 04, 2019.

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