Concord Times (Freetown)

25 August 2014

Sierra Leone: Female Engineer Reconstructs King Jimmy Embankment

One year following the collapse of the King Jimmy embankment, a disaster which claimed the lives of six persons, the site is being reconstructed. At the helm of affairs is a young female engineer at Fimets Construction Company (a Sierra Leonean-owned company), Christiana K. Sesay.

Speaking to Concord Times at the site, Ms. Sesay said the task is her first assignment as a professional engineer, stating that she is coping with the challenges the task brings as she is determined to succeed in her chosen career.

She told Concord Times that the reconstruction commenced in February 2014 and should have completed in July but for torrential rains. She was quick to say they would complete the job latest October.

Ms. Sesay disclosed that an extension was made to the reconstructed road, making it a two-way road, adding that the job has been very exciting and challenging as well.

"We used one of the existing manholes to strengthen the unfinished building alongside the tunnel," she said. "A new drainage was constructed, plus a retaining wall to strengthen the building."

She appealed to the Freetown City Council to advise squatters not to occupy the tunnel to avoid any damage to the structure.

She also encouraged female students to opt for engineering as very few choose the subject in university. "I am encouraging my female folk to study civil engineering as it is very interesting despite the challenges which may be frustrating," urged the young engineer.

She said they take great care with regards health safety because they are aware about the Ebola virus, and that workers or people who visit the site are provided chlorine to wash their hands.

She said youths around the King Jimmy area were employed by the company to provide unskilled service to the team, and thanked the Sierra Leone Road Authority and Freetown City Council for their support, as well as the National Power Authority and Guma Valley Water Company for their cooperation.

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