October 30, 2018
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
A youth leader in Mamboima village in Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko district, has told Concord Times in an exclusive interview that they were unaware about the termination of the proposed Mamamah International Airport project by the current government.
“This is new to me and residents of this village. We are not aware about the termination of the project. We still have hope that the project will go ahead,” Hassan Kargbo told Concord Times.
A letter dated 5th October 2018 and signed by Permanent Secretary Brima S.T. Kebbie had stated that all contract services under the Freetown International Airport Project (FIAP) were terminated with effect from 31st October 2018.
The construction of the new airport was officially commissioned by former President Ernest Bai Koroma few days to the March 2018 multitier elections.
According to Mr. Kargbo, they had willingly given up ownership of their farm lands and houses with the belief that the new airport would bring development and change their lives for the better.
“If it is true that the airport construction has been cancelled we will not be happy because our farm land, plantation and toilet have been destroyed by the Chinese prior to the official commissioning by the former president,” he said.
The past regime had promised that those living around the vicinity of the proposed airport would receive compensation to relocate to other places.
But Kargbo said they were yet to receive any compensation prior to the termination of the project, and that they are now left in the wilderness with no one to talk to.
He added that since the project was commissioned by the former president on March 1 2018, nothing was being done by way of compensating affected communities.
The youth leader noted that though they had received rice on two occasions from the Chinese, the gesture was not enough as a bag of rice per was shared among three houses.
An elder, Moses A. Koroma, said: “We are yet to receive our compensation. We were informed at the commissioning of the airport project that we will be compensated but no timeline was given to us. We would like the project to go ahead because it will transform our country.”