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Gov’t urged to increase road sector budget

October 18, 2016  By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

As the government has agrees to provide funds for the rehabilitation of the 6.15KM Hanga and Blama Roads in Kenema, eastern Sierra Leone, a local non-governmental organisation, Road for Development (R4D-SL) has called on the government of Sierra Leone, through the Ministry of Finance, to increase budgetary allocation to the road sector.

In a press release dated 14th October, 2016 the organisation observed that the government would start the process by gradually removing subsidy on fuel products, which would in return increase revenue collected by the Road Maintenance Fund Association (RMFA) to fund road projects

Kenema township roads are in a terrible shape, especially in the past two years. The R4D-SL has been in the forefront to advocate for better roads in the district.

After three years of agitation by civil society organisations, government has allocated in excess of Le48 billion towards the rehabilitation of both roads, with the RMFA reportedly having made cash transfer in the sum of Le6.5 billion.

However, R4D-SL has frowned at the snail pace at which First Tricon Construction Company is implementing the project.

 “R4D-SL is concern and totally disappointed over the delay on the part of First Tricon Construction Company to start the rehabilitation of these important roads in Kenema city. The total lack of care and concerns for the roads despite many cries from the people of Kenema, civil society groups and tax payers, reduced Kenema to be referred to as the ‘biggest village’ in Sierra Leone,” the release stated.

The organisation has also called on SLRA and RMFA to ensure that First Tricon start the road work without delay and  take necessary action, including but not limited to rehiring another contractor, if necessary.

R4D-SL has assured the government and the public of its continuous support to monitor progress and report accordingly on all other road works planned and those already in progress.

“Road is an engine for development, do not neglect it for political, cultural, economic or any other reason,” the release stated.

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