The Vice President of Sierra Leone Samuel Sumana has assured the people of Kailahun during his recent visit to that district that $105 million is required to rehabilitate the Kailahun trunk road from Kenema to the Koindu commercial town.
VP Sumana made that submission after all the speakers expressed great disappointment over the delay in addressing the deplorable condition of the Kailahun highway after a series of unfulfilled promises from both the past and present APC governments.
He explained that work on the road had already begun with half of the funds received to rehabilitate from Kenema to Kailahun and they would go in search of the remaining funds to rehabilitate the road from Pendembu to the Koindu commercial town if only the people were ready to deliver the Kailahun district council to APC come July 5th 2008.
He stated that, he was perplexed to see the Kailahun road in such a deplorable condition giving the fact that John Benjamin and John Karimu who are sons of the district were in charge of national revenue collection and budget allocation but never brought development to the district. “I felt bad and shame plying the deplorable Kailahun high way, inspite of the positions held by the two Johns” VP said.
He said the Minister of Works and Technical Maintenance Mr. John Asaad formed part of his entourage to assess the condition of the road network so as to find a permanent remedy to it. “I represent development and answer to your problem in Kailahun, but if you don’t support me, I will likely forget you” he warned.
On the issue of Yenga he said, peace and tranquility in the sub region, youth and women empowerment were top on his agenda.
Welcoming the VP to Kailahun, the Hon. Paramount Chief of Luawa Chiefdom Kailahun district PC Mohamed Kailondo Banya IV appreciated the ongoing grading on the road but observed that the filling of pot holes would have been done by stone instead of mud which now transforms the road into another swamp.
The Chief pointed out that the deplorable road network and the occupation of Yenga by Guinean troops are some of the hindrances to development in that district. He therefore called on government to turn attention to the road network especially the road from Kenema to Kailahun and Kailahun to Kono.
The deplorable road network in that district is a cause for concern as several commercial private and NGO’ vehicles get caught up in the muddy roads while commuters cry foul over their perishable goods.
Josephine Blackie the officer in charge of WFP in Kailahun who implements the school feeding and food for work programme expressed her worries over the poor road network as her office trucks frequently travel to Kenema or Freetown to collect food consignment but the road condition was posing a threat to the implementation of her programme.
Mamie Saffa a business woman confided in this medium that, she had invested huge resources in banana and plantain products but every thing got rotten on her way to Kenema due to the poor road condition.
People now use the bypass route from Kailahun through the Manowa ferry, where they board a 25years engineless and wind drifted ferry.