April 26, 2019
By Mohamed Massaquoi
President Julius Maada Bio has named the newly constructed Juba Bridge Sengbe Pieh Memorial Bridge in honour of the former slave warrior, who was commonly known as Joseph Cinque.
President Bio said Sengbe Pieh was a hardworking Sierra Leonean who fought very hard for the liberation of slaves and for the development of the country, and that he is a personality that deserves national recognition.
He said the previous government had the opportunity to have constructed the Juba Bridge to improve on the living standard of the people in that part of the city, but because of selfishness, the people of Juba community continue to suffer until his government was elected.
“The APC government allocated 4.4 million dollars for the construction of the Juba Bridge and for eight months. I want to commission this bridge in honour of Sengbe Pieh. This bridge was constructed for 2.4 million United States dollars and within six months. The previous government was in power for ten years but they could not construct this bridge. I am sure Sierra Leoneans are interested to know as to what happened with that money. This bridge has been constructed with funding from the People’s Republic of China. It is based on the long standing diplomatic relationship between the two countries. The Chinese have been very supportive in the areas of health, agriculture, health among other things. This bridge was constructed to international standard and there will be an overhead and market for the people of Lumley community. We will replicate similar projects to other parts of the country because my government is a talk and do government,” he said.
Director General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) Amara Kanneh commended the Chinese government for their support.
He said during the launching ceremony of the project some six months back, he promised the president that they will closely monitor the work in order to meet international compliance, adding that based on the teamwork among various agencies, the bridge was constructed within six months.
“We were able to reduce the cost for the construction of this bridge from 4.4 million dollars to 2.4 million because there was no consultant involved in the designing and construction of the bridge,” he noted.