Road Construction along Main Motor Road Congo Cross West of Freetown has left many residents in distress as a result of destruction of residential houses from rock blasting for the construction of drainages at mid night by the Chinese Construction company China Railway Seventh Group.
Several residents of Main Motor Road Congo Cross were rudely woken up by the sound of the blasting and debris flying into their houses as a result of the rock blasting carried out by the China Railway Group the contractor for the road Wilkinson Road and Congo Cross construction project. The residents affected complained that no prior notice was given to them before the blasting.
This reporter visited the blasting site yesterday and observed that most of the houses have been eaten up by excavation for the drainage construction and most of the structures also appear weakened with several cracks on the walls of the buildings.
Keith Macaulay of 30c Main Motor Road Congo Cross was one of the latest victims affected by the rock blasting by the Chinese company, he said it all started around 3:00am “we heard a heavy sound and the building started to shake moments later rocks started to hit the building damaging my glass windows.”
“The entire front view of my house was shaken and the glasses at the door and the windows were completely shattered, some rocks flew into the living room, dining room and the kitchen” he said.
He also explained that he “even came out of my house to stop them from blasting because the life of my family was in danger, but they never listened and continued their blasting, we were not able to sleep for the rest of night” he lamented.
Explaining further Keith Macaulay said “the rock blasting damaged most part of the building wall including the fence; my family had to flee up stairs for safety, we came out in the morning hours we observed that there are several pieces of rocks inside and outside the house.”
What is most disturbing the victim said is the fact the Chinese company did not consider the safety of residents before carrying out the rock blasting and “I have already made an official complaint to the Police at Congo Cross.”
Another resident Mohamed Sesay at 28 Main Motor Road Congo Cross also said that they were rudely awakened by the rock blasting and “the front door and generator room was damaged by the rocks.”
The Project Coordinator of the China Railway Seventh Group in Sierra Leone Liu Fei who visited the damaged houses yesterday expressed regret over the extent of damages on the two houses and said the rock blasting was accidental and not deliberate.
He promised that the company will fund the repairs of the damaged areas of the two houses as soon as possible through their insurers RITCORP.
The Assistant project Manager for the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) Vandy French expressed shock over the level of destruction on the houses and assured that they will investigate the circumstances that lead to the rock blasting without prior notice to residents.
Both victims presented the insurers of the Chinese company a list of damaged items and the estimate for repair costs with the view of getting repairs for the two affected houses.
By Saidu Bah