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Sierra Leone Works Minister Commissions Ribbi Ferry

Sierra Leone Works Minister Commissions Ribbi Ferry

The Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, Mr. Alimamy Petito Koroma, on Monday May 20th 2013 commissioned the newly constructed ferry for the people of Ribbi and its environs.  (Photo: Alimamy Petito Koroma officially commission the ferry)

The newly constructed Ribbi ferry was constructed by Brothers Surfacing Construction Enterprise of No.123 City Road, Wellington, Freetown.

Minister A P Koroma told the audience that he was glad to be with them on that day because the ferry commissioning is not just a memorable event but one full of joy and thanksgiving, adding that he was there to represent President Ernest Bai Koroma who would have loved to be there but was presently attending to other state functions.

He further told the people of Ribbi that the president is still in sympathy with them following the collapse of the Mabang Bridge recently, was delighted to announce that a brand new Ribbi ferry was just an alternative means as there are also plans to provide another ferry for the people of Mabang before the bridge will be finally constructed.

He showered praises on Brothers Surfacing Constructed Enterprise, the builders of the new Ribbi ferry for a job well done.

He also called on the people of both sides of the river to congratulate themselves for what was happening that day at Ribbi and warned them to handle the ferry with care for the good of Sierra Leone. He informed them of how the president promised to do more for the people of Ribbi and Mabang.

Sahr Ernest Gbembo, Director of Maintenance at the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) noted that it was as a result of the response that took place at the Mabang Bridge that led to the construction of a brand new ferry, underscoring the importance the Authority attaches to the Mabang Bridge. He added “we are also going to help them very soon with a brand new ferry whilst plans for the construction of Mabang Bridge is under way as government has already identified funding from the European Union for the said construction of bridge.

Ribbi Ferry

The capacity of the Ribbi ferry is 20 tons but this has been limited to 5 tons traffic load because timbers deck normally carry a maximum traffic load of 6 tons.

“This means we can load agricultural produce of about 10 tons with a safety margin of 52% as we are trying to control the axle load of track traffic that is why we are reducing the loading capacity to 5 tons, said the SLRA Director.

According to Gbembo, he designed and supervised the construction of Ribbi ferry.

Brothers Surfacing Construction Enterprise has as its General Manager Mr.  Manso Samura, a patriotic Sierra Leonean. He said the construction of the ferry was wholly financed by the Road Maintenance Fund Administration (RFMA), adding that the construction took one month to complete instead of the usual three months. He maintained that if the ferry is used judiciously, the life span will take 15 years with routine maintenance. It can take two cars at a time with a capacity of 100% people, the director said and added “the good thing about the new ferry is that it is bigger than the old one”.

Mr. Munda Rogers, the Director General of SLRA recalled how he received a text message that the Mabang Bridge had collapsed and rumours stated that 34 people had died in the accident but that it was not true. He explained how their priority, as an authority, was to help the people crossing over to Moyamba.

While stressing on the capacity of the ferry, the DG warned that no one should pay on board it but equally urged the people to take good care of the ferry.

According to him, workers have been employed to cross people and warned the people not to cross with 10 ton vehicles. He intimated that very soon the Mabang bridge construction will commence. “Don’t cross with the ferry at night and call on the people to monitor the ferry,” said Munda Rogers

Left - Hon. Anadu Kanu of Constituency 86, (middle) Ernest Gbembo

Left – Hon. Amadu Kanu of Constituency 86, (middle) Ernest Gbembo

Hon.  Amadu  Kanu of Constituency 86,described the occasion as a big day for the people of Ribbi as he will now go to bed and sleep. He spoke about how he personally spent millions of Leones to rehabilitate the Ribbi ferry and the Mabang Bridge; adding that he has built lots of bridges since 2007/2010.

The new Ribbi ferry will as usual serve the people of Ribbi, Bumpeh, Kongborah, Kaiyamba and Kagboro chiefdoms in the Moyamba district.

By: Dennis Jones

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