By Sylvester Samba………………………………..
The construction of a multi-million United States dollar ultra modern market for street traders who ply their businesses in the central part of Freetown is nearing completion.
This was disclosed to pressmen during a site visit last Friday in order to get first hand information as to how far the project has gone and when it will be completed and handed over for it intended purpose.
Speaking to pressmen at the Sewa Grounds construction site, a Sierra Leonean Engineer, Engineer Fredrick Jones informed the media that the twenty seven million United States dollar project is almost at it completion stage.
Mr. Jones noted that once they continue to be given the financial support with the availability of the needed equipment the multipurpose project will be completed and handed over by December this year or early January.
He further explained that after its completion, the Sewa Grounds will be used as a Mall, Market place, lockup stores, Car park, School, Pharmacies and Banking Hall. He added that the said building will be having adequate toilet and water facilities. “There is going to be 42 toilets and several boreholes in it. This project is being supervised by Sierra Leoneans and we are going to make sure that the best comes out of it”, Engineer Jones assured pressmen.
Addressing pressmen before the conducted tour of the site commenced, the Head of Project at the National Social Security and Insurance Trust ( NASSIT), Mr. Khalifa Tejan Kella pleaded with the public particularly traders to exercise patience with them for the completion of Sewa Grounds market, stressing that “it is better late than never”.
Mr. Kella added that just like the Sewa Grounds, all of NASSIT projects are for the people of Sierra Leone. He maintained that for ten years they have been working with the Freetown City Council (FCC) to provide them with land so that they can take the traders out of the streets.
He said street trading has been s serious problem in the municipality and that with the completion of the Sewa Grounds market, traders at Rawdon Street, Sani Abacha Street and lots more will be taken off the streets.
In another development, NASSIT together with the administration and parents of the Cathedral School have agreed to temporarily relocate the affected school to Bishop Johnson Memorial School in the East part of Freetown.
The Cathedral School is said to be seriously affected by the ongoing construction at the Sewa Grounds. Temporarily, NASSIT is presently building 24 standard classrooms, administrative offices and toilets with water tanks for the pupils.
NASSIT Project Manager said the Cathedral School project is expected to be available to the pupils by next week as the contractor is working on it on 24hours basis. The Project Manager noted that NASSIT will further provide all the necessary equipment needed by the school. Newsmen were also taken to Bishop Johnson Memorial School to see for themselves and also assess progress made by NASSIT for the School construction. NASSIT has promised the Cathedral School with full equipment and furniture.