• August 10, 2022

Pavi Fort, SLRA Expose Commuters to Death Trap

Pavi Fort, SLRA Expose Commuters to Death Trap
Share on

By Joseph A Kamanda

The abandoned and unfinished road left at Ferry Junction by the Pavi Fort construction company, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure and the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) continue to take lives on daily basis, making the short distance project a mere death trap against vulnerable commuters. The distance is now infamously called ‘Old Road’ because of the gallows it continue to expose road users to.

In what appears to be conspiracy against the gullible masses by the incompetent Ministry of Works Housing and Infrastructure, the SLRA, the National Public Procurement Authority, National Commission for Privatization and the ill-equipped Pavi Fort construction company, there is virtually no headway. And the aforementioned private and state agencies knowing fully well that such a road work shouldn’t have even commenced or done in the rains, collectively went ahead and allowed the company to go ahead with the substandard work, having allegedly doled out handsome commissions to agencies concerned in the implementation of the project. Then Pavi Fort, the highest bidder grabbed the green light from the government through the SLRA, NCP, NPPA and others upon which it started work in the rains under the unsupervised leadership of the SLRA Director General, Ing. Amara H. J Kanneh.

Under normal circumstances, such road works are hardly taken off from the ground, but in the situation of Pavi Fort, SLRA and others charged with the task of oversight functions of monitoring road works in the country, continue keep blind eyes to the poor standard construction being undertaken by Pavi Fort, along the Bai Bureh Road – Ferry Junction axis. The very reasons road works always end up bad after few years of delivery to government. This is due to lack of delivering value for money by contractors, backed by poor supervision and mostly SLRA engineers’ compromises with contractors on the specifications and quality civil and construction works. So at the end of it all contractors end up delivering substandard services to government that hardly meet value for money.

Prior to commencement of construction of the short distance – Ferry Junction-Bai Bureh Road network, the facility was widely utilized by road users from everywhere in the country without cause to complain, in as much as entering and exit of Freetown was concerned. However there are now so many hue and cry about the incomplete and dangerous status of the road, which most people urge that government must expedite it to logical conclusion for the benefits of all and sundry.

Yet, in trying to win hearts and minds in the Western region of the country ahead of the June 24 2023 multi-tier elections, the failed government through its line Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, and SLRA, with support from the World Bank amongst other development partners, rushed up with the quick fix rehabilitation of the road, from the Pee Cee and Sons and Milla Group fence, to Macem cement factory, near Bomeh dump site. The design of the structure is expected to go along with a flyover, aimed at decongesting traffic and pedestrian movements around the Ferry Junction area. But it has all off late become a death trap, killing road users on daily basis caused by stationery vehicles.

The distance under review is indeed a death trap as road users are frequently having problems there with the full knowledge of the Director General of SLRSA, Ing. Amara H. J Kanneh. And before one forget and keep receiving excuses from the agencies, government must fast track the completion of the already substandard road, and make it available for use before pot-riddle holes on the said road it continues to endanger and take more lives in that part of Freetown, in the untimely name of quick fixing a very short distance road aimed at campaigning gullible Freetown voters to win the next elections with wide margins in the Western region.

Though it a good thing to deliver services to the public out of their taxpayers’ moneys, yet one would always want to know is why the Ferry Junction axis reconstruction project delayed onto now? Another critical school of thoughts would raise the concern as to why is the Bio-led SLPP government trying to use such a political strategy to win votes in a region where he still remain unpopular. Thus with the exposure of such gimmicks, with so many people now seem to have put on their thinking hats, it won’t work as it used to be in the past. Instead people in the community of work are now referring to the entire work and the solar lights installed on the unpaved road as mere ‘falsehood’ and that is to say, no amount of fake development programme implemented wont mislead them this time around.

Besides, the work in question has caused a lot damages to so many road users, most of them meeting their untimely deaths, and quite recently, a driver plying from town hit one of the stationery vehicles that were parked along the highway. All passengers died on the spot and the vehicle damaged beyond repair. Yet the road remains undone, as the unfit for purposes agencies-SLRA and the SLRSA continue to keep blind eyes to frequent accidents, and at the same time allow stationery vehicles to park along the very road. Amidst all this, the SLRSA personnel also encourage drivers into committing road traffic offences/crimes by unlawfully plying with faulty vehicles everywhere along public highways in within, out of Freetown, and in other major cities in the country. In its place of enforcing the law, SLRSA and the Sierra Leone Police traffic personnel prefer extorting money from unruly drivers, allow them to go free. Sadly though safety is far from SLRSA and SLP traffic personnel.

It is unimaginable that law-enforcement officers conniving with law breakers to commit crime so that they can earn money from the lawlessness of road users. No wonder every police personnel is working hard to be deployed at the traffic division of the force. To get rich quick out of extortions, bribery and other forms of making moneys from civilians at the compromises of the laws of the land, with SLRSA personnel being no exemptions.

It is therefore highly hoped that the new Inspector General of Police William Fayia Sellu will not follow the wrong foot prints of his predecessor, Ambrose Michael Sovula. IGP Sellu when replying to questions posed to him by the Appointment Committee at Committee Room No. 1 acknowledged failures in previous police leadership. He vowed to be a better police chief. So whom much is given, much is also expected of him. Hence going forward much is expected from IGP Sellu.

Back to the killer unfinished road on Bai Bureh Road-Ferry Junction axis, which government is trying to fool the masses again with solar light on muddy road, needs some critical review even before further technical works could be hastily done for its quick fix completion. This is owing to the fact that value for money must be delivered by Pavi Fort, or else the whole contract terminated by government, open a new competitive bid and whoever wins it be re-award the contract afresh to deliver a better service worth for money, rather than it keep killing people.

The Ferry-Junction – Bai Bureh Road work is presently plagued with dozens of pot-riddled holes that have been dug by Pavi Fort, in the name of rush rehabilitation work which is becoming a parking lot for stranded and faulty vehicles. These vehicles are the real causes of persistent accidents on the unfinished road under the watch of the SLP traffic personnel, SLRSA cops and the SLRA, who deliberately ignore the dangers posed by the poor standard work being done by government and its contractor-Pavi Fort.

However this writer tried several times to reach the contractor, Pavi Fort, SLRA and SLRSA couldn’t be reached for their sides of the issues, but none of them pick calls nor do they reply to WhatsApp and SMS messages sent to their various contacts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *