The Parliamentary Committee on Works and Public Assets of Sierra Leone conducted an extensive oversight visit on June 8th and 9th, 2024, to inspect ongoing road construction projects in Kenema and Kabala. Led by Honorable Ing. Habib Fabbah, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, the delegation aimed to evaluate the progress and quality of the work undertaken by Pavi Fort AL Associates (SL) Limited, a leading construction company in Sierra Leone.

Hon. Fabbah emphasized that the visit’s primary objective was to assess the project’s adherence to the set timeline and quality standards. He noted that the project is 74% complete, indicating substantial progress. He also addressed potential legal challenges, particularly concerning compensation for affected properties, assuring that the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) and Pavi Fort are actively resolving these issues.

In his remarks, Hon. Fabbah highlighted the importance of ensuring visible progress and adherence to the project timeline.

He mentioned that both SLRA and the Work Committee’s engineers are involved in overseeing the project, expressing confidence in the quality of the construction, noting that the work is visibly satisfactory even without sophisticated tests. He concluded by affirming that the visible progress and quality inspections ensure the project is on the right track.

Alimu Sanu Barrie, Chairman and CEO of Pavi Fort, provided updates on the project, initially planned for 25 kilometers with a 5-kilometer extension. He reported that 20 kilometers have been completed and the project is on track for a December 2024 completion.

Barrie cited previous successful projects, such as the Kabala Township Road, to highlight their commitment to quality. He also addressed the challenges faced during construction, including initial delays due to the lack of a suitable quarry, which delayed the project by about a year.

However, once a suitable quarry was found, the project gained momentum. He praised President Julius Maada Bio and the Government for their support and emphasized the role of strategic planning to mitigate weather-related challenges.

The Chairman and CEO said the road construction project has created over 600 direct jobs for Sierra Leoneans, with additional employment through subcontractors. He highlighted the company’s focus on knowledge transfer by pairing local graduates with expatriates, enhancing local expertise. He also mentioned efforts to resolve community concerns, particularly regarding compensation for affected residents. According to him, a recent meeting with Parliamentarians resulted in a settlement plan to include compensation in their payment processes, ensuring timely and equitable solutions.

Honorable Daniel B. Koroma, a member of the Committee who also doubles as the Deputy Minority Leader 1, Parliament of Sierra Leone, underscored the Committee’s role in ensuring compliance with project requirements, as mandated by the 1991 Constitution.

He expressed satisfaction with the progress and quality observed and reposed confidence in meeting the project timeline despite potential weather-related challenges. The Member of Parliament emphasized the Committee’s strategic planning to prioritize activities less affected by rain, ensuring continued progress.

The Mayor of Kenema City, Thomas Karimu Baio, highlighted their supportive role in supervising the projects from a layperson’s perspective. He acknowledged residents’ concerns about timely payments and resource distribution, advocating for better communication and management to address those issues.

The Mayor further noted that while the local Government is involved in overseeing the project, they rely on the technical expertise of engineers to ensure quality work. He also discussed the importance of appointments and potential future visits to ensure that the needs of Kenema’s residents are addressed fairly.

Baio stressed the need for better communication and management to address residents’ concerns, suggesting that a more transparent approach could alleviate frustrations.

From Kenema, the Parliamentary Committee on Works and Public Assets moved to Kabala on Sunday, June 9th, 2024, to also assess the road construction project implemented by Pavi Fort Construction Company. After the assessment, the Committee will proceed to examine the Project works of the company in Freetown today, Monday, June 10th, 2024.

The visit by the Parliamentary Committee on Works and Public Assets underscores a comprehensive effort to ensure quality, timely completion, and community satisfaction in road construction projects. The combined oversight of Parliamentarians, local Government, and active engagement with the community aims to ensure the project’s success, ultimately benefiting the residents of Kenema.

It could be recalled that on December 19th, 2020, Pavi Fort Construction Company entered Kenema city impressively with its high-standard machinery in preparedness to embark on the reconstruction of township roads in that part of the country. There was a lot of pomp and pageantry as residents of Kenema District came out in their hundreds to give a rousing welcome to the Management and team of the company.

Since December 2020, the company has been working round the clock with dogged determination to fulfill its commitment towards the reconstruction of township roads in Kenema District.

In that regard, on January 7th, 2022, Pavi Fort commenced Asphalt Concrete work on township roads in Kenema. The commissioning of the commencement of the Asphalt Concrete work was officially done by the Mayor of Kenema City, Thomas Karimu Baio.

It must also be noted that on May 19th, 2023, in Dogoloyia Town, Koinadugu district, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio commissioned a 261-kilometer road linking Koinadugu with Falaba and Kono Districts with a view to reducing travel time and cost, improving service delivery time, and promoting the health condition of residents in that part of the country. The road was constructed by Pavi Fort. The company also implemented the World Bank-funded Integrated Resilient Urban Mobility Project (IRUMP), which entailed the enhancement of three specific areas in Freetown: Kissy Ferry Junction, Congo Cross Roundabout, and Lumley Roundabout, which are referred to as road corridors. It maintained some major streets in Freetown and refurbished a hospital in Port Loko that was handed over to the Government by UAE among others.