The Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the Project Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP) have handed over the Leicester Peak site to K5 Sierra Leone Limited for the construction of viewing decks and other Leisure facilities at Leicester Peak. The short ceremony was held at the site in the presence of the community stakeholders.
Leicester Peak is located on top of a hill in the urbanized context of Freetown. The peak is 564m above sea level and is part of the Western Area Peninsula National Park. This is the site for the telecommunication antennas of the city, but it is also an informal viewpoint area which is used by locals as a meeting point.
The World Bank is assisting the Government of Sierra Leone to improve the tourism business environment, enhance market access and improve tourism products and services through the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project (SLEDP) that aims to increase investment and entrepreneurship in non-mining productive sectors, including tourism. For Leicester Peak, the project covers the construction of 1592m2 space as viewing deck, canopies, a food shop and toilet block with 0.165km of concrete rigid pavement road rehabilitation and 36 parking bays including ancillary works of drainage, retaining wall, landscaping and vendor area,
The Project Coordinator for SLEDP, Mary Jalloh explained that they have been engaging Leicester Peak community through the Ministry before the commencement of the proper groundwork. She mentioned that Leicester Peak went through a competitive process led by the Ministry with the idea of constructing the road leading to the peak and a viewpoint. She said the primary object of the project is to open Leicester Peak as a tourist destination that will attract tourists and locals to watch the city and enjoy the frenzy ambiance of the peak. She commended the community people for their commitment and called on them to embrace the contractors and adhere to agreed arrangements.
The Permanent Secretary, Edward Kwame Yankson on behalf of the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Nabeela Tunis applauded the community stakeholders for welcoming the development and assured them that the Minister will do the official commissioning of the project when completed. He noted that it is the role of government to create the enabling environment for tourism to thrive by promoting domestic tourism. He maintained that the project when completed will have positive financial implications on the community as there will be opportunity for them to do business, hence he called on them to protect the project as they are the first beneficiary.
Executive Director of K5 Sierra Leone Limited, Nidal Kefel told the gathering that they were contracted to do the iconic deck at Leicester Peak. He expressed delight and was proud to be part of the development of Leicester Peak and assured that they will deliver good quality and on time to the satisfaction of the Ministry, SLEDP and the community. The consultants, ICS gave the technical details of the project and also display the sketch of the viewing deck.
The Councilor and other community stakeholders of Leicester Peak community thanked the Ministry and SLEDP for adding value to their community and assured of their utmost cooperation in delivering the project.