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Makeni-Kamakwie road may delay beyond deadline

By Alusine Sesay

Residents along the highway between Makeni and Kamakwie in northern Sierra Leone have expressed serious doubts as to whether the Senegalese construction company – Compagnie Sahélienne d’Entreprises (CSE) – would complete the construction of the road on or against the deadline.

CSE was awarded the contract to construct the Makeni to Kamakwie road, which is earmarked to serve as an international highway linking Sierra Leone and neighbouring Guinea.

While responding to parliamentary scrutiny with regards the snail pace at which the road construction was being carried out, a Senegalese engineer replied that the company was grappling with funding challenges, but promised they would complete the work by August 2014.

However, residents along the dusty highway are less optimistic. “We are skeptical as to whether the road construction would be completed come August 2014. The contractors are only busy taking snap shot of the road with no work being done,” said Morlai Kamara of Madina village.

This reporter, who recently travelled along the highway, noticed there are no signs of road construction along the vast expanse of dusty road as drainages are yet to be demarcated, while bridges are in a dilapidated state.

Meanwhile, the residents called on government to exert some pressure on CSE to ensure that the road is completed as promised, and on time.