July 10, 2017 By Ibrahim Turay
Residents at Dwarzark community, western Freetown, are currently worried over the collapse of a bridge that links the community to the rest of the city.
The bridge, which community stakeholders said was over twenty years old, was reported to have collapsed due to the heavy downpour on Monday (3 July).
The cave-in bridge, which posed serious threat to residents, would be washed away if the heavy downpour continues in the next couple of weeks.
Shaka Lamine Dumbuya, Councilor for Ward 384, Dwazark, told Concord Times that while arrangements for a possible construction of new bridge was in progress, he has summoned an emergency meeting with community stakeholders to provide an alternative route for residents.
He stated that councilors haven’t received any fund from the central government to implement development projects in their respective wards, but that he was working hard to fix the problem.
On his part, Member of Parliament for Consistency 109, Amadu Fofanah, shifted the responsibility to the councilor, noting that parliament had approved huge sum of money for council to implement development projects.
When asked about the Le65 million Constituency Development Fund, Hon. Fofanah said he had rolled out scholarships to 50 students in the Constituency, adding that he believed in the empowerment of individuals.
He told Concord Times that he was constructing a foot bridge at the New England Ville community which cost over Le50 million.
Hon. Fofanah, who succeeded Hon. Julius N. Kofi in 2012, stated that commuters should use the bridge he was constructing at New England Ville as an alternative route for now.
Chief Imam at the light of Islam mosque Dwazark closed to the collapsed bridge, Alie Koroma, told Concord Times that the bridge was constructed in the early 90s and that since then no form of maintenance has been done on it.
He said the cave-in bridge has scared away his congregation that normally prays at his mosque.
“We are trapped. This is the only route that links this community. As it is now, it has become a death trap. Thousands of school children used this route every day. Even this morning, most of our members didn’t pray here in apparent fear of the condition of the bridge. To be honest, this bridge is very risky to use, especially for children,” he said.
He called on their Councilor and Member of Parliament to take urgent action to fix the bridge and avert any disaster.
Mustapha Sankoh, a resident in the community, said he was scared and could not allow his children to pass through the bridge.
He said some youth have made effort to fix the bridge, which, he noted has now gone beyond repairs.