Residents of the Hillside Bye-Pass Road have mounted serious pressure on SLRA, CSE and other stakeholders in charge of the construction of the Hillside Bye-Pass Road to leave access way into the various affected communities.
The communities affected are Foulah Town and Adams Street, in the Mountain Cut Community.
In a dialogue meeting organized on Sunday 6th February 2022, through the help of a Community Based Organized that is dubbed ‘My Area My Concern’, gave the affected people the opportunity to explain to stakeholders some of the constraints they go through on a daily basis.
Mr. Sorie Kamara Chairman of My Area My Concern said that the current retaining wall passed by CSE has caused lots of burdens to them, especially children, older people and people living with disabilities. He went on to say that as a result of the fence erected by CSE even health care personnel are finding it extremely difficult to access the community, thereby depriving the community of the needed health facilities. Despite this challenge, he further stated that they are faced with huge water crisis, adding that the fence erected by CSE will add to the current challenges that they are facing in accessing pure water supply. He stressed by calling on SLRA and other stakeholders to reason out with the affected communities and find ways of redeeming the community from the multiple challenges.
Speaking on behalf of Persons with Disability, Neneh Kargbo begged CSE and SLRA to remove the fence at the middle of the road. She described the fence as a huge burden to them.
She therefore appealed to the government of Sierra Leone to ensure that the road is disable friendly.
Rugiatu Koroma narrated in tears that whilst carrying her son to school, she fell on the road and her son’s hand was fractured. She also appealed to SLRA and CSE to remove the fence or else many children will be injured as a result of the present state of the road.
In response to the concerns of the various communities, the representative of CSE said that they cannot take decision on their own, adding that they are only acting on the directions of the government of Sierra Leone.
However, the Consultant in charge of the road said that they have heard the concerns of the community but he appealed to the various communities to exercise patient and at the completion of the road they will be happy. He added that the current fence is to ensure safety of the people especially children and the physically challenged.
“After the road construction we don’t want to hear loss of lives,” he said, adding by emphasizing that after the road construction people living in the community would appreciate the work. He appealed to the people to exercise patient, adding by stating that for them to be comforted they will first be discomforted. He said that they appreciate the efforts of the community for creating the platform for them to dialogue, adding that it is better than you go on the rampage and act berserk. He appealed that the current situation will not cause much problem for them.
“I am part of you,” he said, adding that the road is an expressed way and the fence is meant to ensure safety.
Councilor of Ward 426 Ibrahim Sorie Conteh described the meeting as a community development. He also thanked the organizers for organizing the program.
Honorable Alhadi Lihadi of Constituency 123, representing the affected communities thanked his people for making their concerns known, adding by applauding members of ‘My Area My Concern’ for what he described as a laudable initiative for creating the platform for people to dialogue.
He also applauded CSE and the consultant for allaying their fears that the fence will no longer go beyond its current state. He assured that they will continue to push forward the concerns of the various communities. Disgruntle youths that were not comfortable with the outcome of the meeting left the scene before the meeting ends, this sends a signal that SLRA and CSE may be in big trouble if nothing is done to address the demands of the community.