Manowa Bridge Will Facilitate Agricultural Products To MarketPres. Bio Tells Pejeh Bongre Chiefdom


President Julius Maada Bio earlier this week told the people of Pejeh Bongre and Upper Bambara Chiefdoms that once the Manowa Bridge has been constructed, it will have to facilitate access to the market for their agricultural products.

He made this statement when turning the sod for the designing and building of the bridge which is a manual cable ferry crossing point in Manowa, Pejeh Bongre Chiefdom, in the Kailahun District, Eastern Sierra Leone. The bridge will have to benefit two chiefdoms which are Pejeh Bongre and Upper Bambara including their surrounding villages.

“When I took up office in 2018, I made a promise that I will have to replace all manually operated cable ferry crossing points with bridges across the country. We have also done some of them. At the moment, four of them have been approved and negotiations are ongoing for another eight to be approved for construction,” he told his audience who continuously kept shouting and chanting the ‘talk and do’ president as a way of showing delight and gratitude.

He said the bridge will have to ease the movement of school-going children who come from neighbouring villages to seek education in Manowa, adding that it would also enhance the easy transportation of agricultural products.

President Bio recalled that many years ago, the road from Manowa to other villages was a major road but crossing the river always remained a challenge for the commuters who commute regularly on the road, noting that his government will ensure that it becomes a major road again after the bridge would have been constructed.  

“You cannot develop a country without improving the lives of the people who are living in rural areas. I have always said that visiting rural communities regularly has given me an insight into how people feel and what problems they have been encountering. Getting firsthand information about the people’s plights will now position me to act accordingly to alleviate their suffering. This is what a responsible government does,” he said.

He told his audience that his government has since decided to protect the right of women and girls by bringing into existence laws that would ensure that those who perpetrate violence against them face the full force of the law.

“Our insistence on the protection of women and girls has further demonstrated a few months ago when my government brought into existence the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act 2022. Before that, we placed a state of emergency on rape. As a result, teenage pregnancy has been combated and maternal mortality has significantly reduced,” he said.

Director General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA), Engineer Amara Kanneh, said the bridge will be constructed within 15 months, noting that it will be 181 meters long.

“To ensure that it is completed within the stipulated time, the government has decided that the designing and building of the bridge should be done by the contractors,” he said.

Minister of Agriculture, Dr Abubakarr Karim, reiterated that the bridge will have to create access to the market for agricultural products, which has been a major challenge for the inhabitants of both Pejeh Bongre and Upper Bambara chiefdoms.


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