By Amin Kef-Ranger
The Ministry of Transport and Aviation has, on the 18th June 2021, disclosed that the Integrated and Resilient Urban Mobility Project (IRUMP), which is a $50 million grant from the World Bank with $2 million counterpart funding from the Government of Sierra Leone, is currently underway in the West and East corridors of Freetown.
From what this medium understood, initially it was a $20 million loan but because of President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction Government’s financial prudence, the World Bank doubled the money and turned it into a grant.
The project duration, it was intimated, is 5 years (October 2019 – June 2024) and the area of intervention of the project is Freetown.
According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, the objective of the said project is to improve access to public transport, improve road safety, address climate resilience and enhance institutional and human capacity.
He further stated that the procurement of buses by Government is at advanced stage while the Ministry of Transport and Aviation is in partnership with private entities to invest in public transportation.
Based on what was learnt the project entails the construction of pedestrian overpasses at Jui, Shell, Wilberforce and Lumley. Currently contractors are working on the designs and construction will start this year.
Plans to install traffic lights, hybrid street lights and guardrails, it was understood, are also at advanced stage and the procurement process is well advanced.
The Ministry disclosed that the construction of market and terminal at Lumley is in progress as the land has been acquired after lengthy negotiations with the land owner. Bidding has closed and evaluation of bids is ongoing.
It was additionally stated that the project is also helping to build human capital and institutional capacity as contractors and site workers are empowered with skills and also trained on gender based violence awareness.
As of 17th June, 2021, Le 7,650,000,000 has been disbursed as compensation to affected people.
Total number of project affected persons compensated as at June 2021 is 153 (53.5%)
The Transport and Aviation Ministry concluded by revealing that the money budgeted for compensation is $2million.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper