As part of efforts to decongest the roads of Freetown to enhance the free flow of traffic and promote road safety, the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority [SLRSA] in collaboration with the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Transport and the Sierra Leone Police on Tuesday November 16, 2021 held a one day stakeholders engagement at the Authority’s headquarters Kissy Road Freetown to map out operational strategy.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, the Acting Executive Director of the SLRSA Mr. James Baggie Bio intimated that, sequel to the Wellington PMB fire disaster, the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on transport summoned the leadership of the SLRSA and other agencies to explain to the committee on some of the challenges facing the transport sector. He said during that engagement, the committee emphasizes the need for the decongestion of Freetown by the removal of abandoned vehicles, street garages and the eradication of street trading.
He disclosed that, since the authority has a tradition of working with stakeholders before commencing any operation that was why the meeting was called so that stakeholders can as well inform their general membership. He said a total of fifty-four streets have been identified within the city of Freetown for decongestion. He discloses that, the Authority has enough capacity to undertake the exercise, He encouraged all stakeholders to l support the operation in other to enhance the free flow of traffic and prevent road carnage.
Addressing the meeting, the Chairman Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Transport Hon. Ambrose Maada Lebbie pointed out that, the Wellington PMB Fire disaster was an eye opener for all stakeholders in the transport sector to put hands on deck to improve safety of the roads. He assured that as an oversight committee on transport, they had instructed the SLRSA and the SLP to embark on the decongestion of roads in Freetown. Hon. Lebbie also stated that, parliament was aware and deeply concerned with the influx of substandard spare parts in the country, noting that, substandard spare parts were also a major contributing factor to road crashes.
Honorable Lebbie called on the membership of the transport sector to collaborate with the decongestion exercise stating the SLP would be there to provide the necessary support to the SLRSA during the exercise.
The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Traffic and Road Safety Kaprr S. Kamara thanked the parliamentary oversight committee on transport for supporting the initiative to decongest Freetown as the issue of street garages was a very serious challenge in l Freetown. He assured that, the Sierra Leone Police would fully corporate for a successful exercise.
On behalf of the Motor Drivers Union Mr. Alpha Amadu Bah who is the president of the union assured of the corporation of his membership.
Other stakeholders present were Vehicle maintenance Association Mr. Christian Farma, Keke Riders Union among others.