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Kenema residents bemoan pothole-riddle streets

- blame politics for neglect

By Mohamed Massaquoi

Residents of the eastern township of Kenema have registered their consternation over what they referred to as the ‘political neglect’ by the Koroma administration, noting that the much talked about infrastructure development in the country does not reflect on the township as the district was  being marginalized by the present administration.

According to residents, although local councils are charged with the responsibility of developing their areas, most of government institutions and functions have not completely devolved to councils thus making the situation more difficult for especially opposition controlled councils to embark on meaningful development. They alleged that even the provincial road projects which the president promised in his first term in office did not reflect on major roads in Kenema.

Hawanatu Fofanah, a social worker, said Maxwell Khobi Street, Hangha Road, Dama Road, Coker-Jah Street, Circular Road, Massaquoi Street, Ngombolango Street, among many roads in the main town in the eastern province, are in deplorable states.

From Kamara Town to Lumbaybu and other parts of Kenema, residents are convinced that the development process in the township is nothing to report about.

“We are suffering as a result of poor road network in the city. It is sad to note that the road leading to Kenema from Bo and Kailahun are well paved leaving the roads within the township so deplorable. The government is not bothered about this deplorable condition. Many people are asking about the role of government in infrastructural development,” Mohamed Mustapha, a resident of Kingsway Corner said in an interview.

Another resident, Usman Mansaray of Samai Town said it is unfortunate that up till this moment roads within the township are deplorable, adding that the township has been abandoned by the president because of political reason.

“This is the stronghold of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party, that is why the president is treating us like this. All the major roads within Makeni, Lunsar, Magburaka and other towns within the northern region have been paved, but we are here suffering as a result of bad roads. Since the death of the Resident Minister (William Juana Smith), the president has not appointed another person who will advocate on our behalf,” he said.