Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 November 2015
The debate as to whether Sierra Leone needs a second international airport, amidst growing poverty and lack of investment in public services and infrastructure, such as health, education, access to clean water and electricity, low-cost housing, and safe trunk roads, has intensified in the last few days. (Photo: A trunk road leading to Bo in the south).
But government ministers and officials have failed to make a strong business case, justifying the need to borrow about $400 million from the Chinese to build the new airport in the north of the country.
Those arguing for the new airport, including the country’s foreign minister Samura Kamara, say that the existing international airport at Lungi, located in the northern district of Port Loko, is old and too small to cope with the growing economic needs of the country.
Last week, the foreign minister Samura Kamara told Awoko newspaper reporters in Freetown that, the government wants to construct the new airport because of the constraints passengers face to get to the existing Lungi international airport, and that if there is any problem, then Sierra Leoneans will need to travel to Guinea or Liberia to board flight, because there is no other airport in the country.
“I am optimistic that this project will succeed. And it’s just a matter of time, we will kick-start the project, as it is one of the biggest projects that this government wants to undertake to bring more economic benefits to the country, ” the foreign minister told reporters.
But President Koroma has spoken: ‘My government will invest in developing the existing airport’. And that’s final – end of debate, hopefully for another twenty years.