By: Foday Manneh
The road project was among four others was approved under the Basse Area Council strategic development plan as major projects to be implemented in 2021.
However, the council’s budget was in deficit to fund these projects; consequently, a proposal to the general council to secure loans for the projects was unanimously accepted.
D35 million was the initial amount to fund the projects, with D18M for construction of the Basse-Manneh Kunda highway, D3M for Sare Manson-Sare Bojo gravel road, D2.5M for Baja Kunda bridge, D4M for Song Kunda bridge, and D4M for Sambalolo bridge.
On August 4, 2021, the Basse Area Council laid the foundation stones of the projects, which eventually started at the Song Kunda, Baja Kunda, and Sambalolo bridges respectively, while implementation of the Basse-Manneh Kunda highway and Sare Bojo road were halted.
It has been five months today since the projects got under way, and the people of Baja Kunda, Song Kunda, and Sambalolo are happy as the works are near to completion. Work on Sare Mansong-Sare Bojo gravel road has recently commenced.
However, the D18M construction of the Basse-Manneh Kunda highway has been reportedly canceled, following a resolution passed by the general council.
It cited financial and administrative constraints, such as challenges to pay the salaries of council staff.
‘’The Basse-Manneh Kunda highway project has to be redesigned as National Road Authority (NRA) advised us to change it from concrete pavement to another type, which causes the delay. But be reassured it is a concern for the council.’’ the Chairman of Basse Area Council, Foday Danjo said.
He further stated that a new costing will be made regarding the delayed project, but did not give a specific time when work will begin.
Meanwhile, the council has reportedly allocated D5M in its new 2022 budget to put a gravel road on the highway in question.
However, several general council members had disapproved this idea, and called for full implementation or cancellation of the project.