The tour was prompted by a report on the verification of government’s quarters in the Western Area.
The report, which was released in 2019, stated that some quarters were not on the ministry’s database for decades and they were illegally occupied.
“Those government’s quarters have been discovered. The report further mentioned that a good number of the quarters have been occupied by retirees, staff on foreign and provincial postings, thereby preventing other government workers from benefiting from the facilities,” Deputy Minister of Works and Public Assets, Philip Tetema Tondoneh disclosed.
He said the report captured how quarters were leased to private individuals by the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment without the approval of the Ministry of Works and Publics Assets.
“The report revealed how some quarters were unkempt and recklessly handled by the principal occupants, especially those that have constructed structures on the parcels of land within those quarters. It also mentioned that 90 percent of the quarters were in a bad shape required immediate overhaul,” he said.
He expressed disappointment over the conditions of the quarters as encroachment on the lands of the various quarters is still ongoing.
He noted that some quarters have been demolished and private properties constructed on the lands.
“Garages and houses that have been put up on the encroached lands have blocked drainages and playgrounds in Brookfields and other places.But plans are underway to maintenance all government’s quarters and they would be allocated to government workers using the right procedures,” he assured.
He disclosed that some quarters have been sold illegally without following due process, but noted that those quarters would be surely reclaimed.
A security officer, who has been working in the Ministry of Works and Public Assets for over 30 years, mentioned some government’s quarters in Freetown that have been encroached while some of them have been demolished.