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Politicotorial: Old Road: A scar on Sierra Leone Govt’s conscience

We applaud some efforts that have been made and are still being made by Government in addressing the country’s poor road network. The provincial and district headquarter town projects are laudable even if some of them  seem abandoned owing, largely, to corruption between the contractors and some government officials. And barring the engineering stupidity that has caused flooding on that road, the widening of Wilkinson Road and Spur Road in the west of Freetown has tremendously eased the gridlock that vehicular traffic used to occasion there.

However the apparent ignoring of the east of Freetown in almost anything developmental, especially in the areas of roads and utility services, is worrisome. Today we concentrate on roads. We appreciate the excuse that could be given by Government that they cannot raise all the funds needed to do all the roads at the same time. But equal priority should have been given to the roads in and leading to the east of Freetown.

It would seem as if the universal east-west divide applies here. Otherwise how does anyone explain the terrible state of affairs that has been at Fourah Bay Road since Adam and Eve were kids. The road resembles a diamond mine field with pits on every step of the way.

Anyone who has travelled to the provinces in the last few months does not need to be told about the unending traffic congestion around Calaba Town. Or is it because when the president and those other Big Guys go there they are eased by being cleared through? Even there they see the other side of the road and the vehicular traffic and how difficult it gets to keep them on one side. Worse still, no-one seems to care about it!

And when you attempt to bypass it by using the Old Road, you would wonder whether what you see is actually in Freetown. Old Road, starting from Kissy Bypass Road right down to Allen Town, is in a decrepit state. It seems the road died with the late philanthropist Kasho Macrae. It is a scar on the conscience of the government especially because nothing seems to be mentioned about it despite being a hugely densely populated part of town – more than anywhere else in and around Freetown.

Or are the lives and welfare of those living there not important simply because of their social status? We beg to differ. These are Sierra Leoneans like any other living around Wilkinson Road or Spur Road or anywhere else regarded as plush.

We implore Government to redirect its focus to address the poor – almost non-existent state of Old Road and the huge lake that is on the Bai Bureh Road or New Road around Foamex in Calaba Town.

This is simply UNACCEPTABLE in this 21st century!