The Sierra Leone Roads Authority has over the weekend paid NLe 5,100,533.00 (Five Million One Hundred Thousand Five Hundred and Thirty Three New Leones) in compensation to 116 Property Affected Persons (PAPs) within Lot I of the Kailahun-Koindu- Guinea-Liberia Border Road corridor.
According to the Project Manager, Ing. Patrick James Lavalie, the payment of compensation is part of the counterpart funding by the Government of Sierra Leone for the construction of the 25km road that stretches from Kailahun – Buedu.
The payments were done in three locations — Kailahun Court Barry, Gbalahun Community Centre and Buedu Court Barry in the presence of representatives from the Anti-Corruption Commission, Audit Service Sierra Leone and Civil Society.
In his welcome statement, the Chairman of Kailahun District Council, Sahr A.K. Lamin, told the stakeholders and property affected persons that the payment of compensation was a commitment by government to protect the welfare of its citizens.
He urged the PAPs to accept the compensation in good faith and use the money to rebuild the demolished structures away from the road corridor.
The Member of Parliament for Constituency 004 in Kailahun District, Honourable Sarty Banya told the gathering that the payment of compensation was a tangible sign that the road works would to start soon.
He encouraged the remaining PAPs whose structures have not been demolished to quickly demolish them upon receiving their compensation to allow the contractor to commence work as soon as possible.
Addressing stakeholders and PAPs at the Gbalahun Community Centre, the Director General of SLRA, Ing. Amara Jambai Kanneh, admonished them to be grateful to President Julius Maada Bio for his development strides.
“We all know how difficult it was to come to Kailahun, but President Bio has made it easier by completing the Pendembu-Kailahun Road. We are now working on the Kailahun township roads, and very soon we will award the contract for the Kailahun – Buedu Road”, he explained.
Ing. Kanneh told the people that the road works will generate employment opportunities for the indigenes of Kailahun, and also advised the stakeholders to help monitor the road works, especially to protect the materials and equipment meant for the project.
The Deputy Director of Public Debt Management in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Joseph Fatorma told the gathering at the Kailahun Court Barry that the Kailahun-Koindu- Guinea-Liberia Border Road Project is of high economic value, and that government is committed in financing the project.
Speaking to her constituents at the Buedu Court Barry, the Member of Parliament for Constituency 001 in Kailahun District, Honourable Emilia Lolloh Tongi stated that the construction of the Kailahun-Koindu- Guinea-Liberia Border Road is one of the best things that President Bio would do for the people of Kailahun District. “The construction of this road has been in the pipeline for over 60 years, but it is now becoming a reality under the leadership of President Bio”, she bemoaned.
Honourable Tongi encouraged her constituents to be grateful to President Bio by re-electing him to power to enable him complete the remarkable projects that he has started.
Speaking on behalf of the Property Affected Persons, the Chairlady of Buedu Women’s Group, Hawa Sahr, said she was very willing to give up her shop along the the road because the construction of the road would be very beneficial to her and her fellow traders as they remain hopeful that the Koindu market will resume and end the challenges and harassment that they currently go through whenever they are on a business trip to Guinea.
The project is part of the Mano River Union Road Development and Transport Facilitation Programme that is financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The works contract will be officially awarded in the coming weeks.