The Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure got this nomenclature and its current mandate when the Housing division which was under the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment was transferred to the then Ministry of Works and Technical Maintenance in 2010.
Before Sierra Leone gained independence in 1961, the Ministry was then a department called Public Works Department (PWD). The department was headed by a Director assisted by a Deputy Director. The following branches were under this department:
- Drainage and Irrigation
- Engineering Drawing Office
- Building Inspection
The first African Engineer to be appointed to the department was Mr. A. T. Wadi Williams and he took up his duties in November 1950. All other positions were held by nationals from the colonial masters. During the pre independence period, the PWD did the construction of the Government House, Prince of Wales Secondary School, Guma Valley Dam, Rokel and Taiama Bridges, Kenema Airfield and the Queen Elizabeth ll Quay to name a few.
After independence, the PWD continued for some time as a department but was later transformed into smaller departments and Ministries.
One of the landmark buildings constructed after independence was the Bank of Sierra Leone. In August 1964, the Bank of Sierra Leone started its operations. The Juba Bridge, St. John Bridge, Pyke Street Bridge and Congo Cross Bridge were all constructed after independence. The present Ministry of Works Headquarter buildings located at New England housing the Administrative and Technical staff were built after independence by the Ministry.
In the 1980s, the Ministry was named Ministry of Works and Labour. There were two Deputy Ministers of State, one for Labour division and the other for Works division. The Works Division was divided into two basic branches – the Technical Branch headed by the Professional Head and the Administrative Branch headed by the Permanent Secretary. The Technical Branch was responsible for planning and executing the construction and maintenance of roads and public buildings whilst the administrative branch provided support services related to personnel, payroll, procurement and accounting.
In the 1990s, the Ministry was divided into two Ministries namely Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Works. In 1992 the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) Act was enacted and in 1993 the Roads Branch was removed from the Ministry to form an Agency SLRA which was given the mandate to provide a safe reliable and sustainable National Road System for the enhancement of the socio-economic development of the country.
In 2002, the Ministry was called Ministry of Works and Technical Maintenance and in 2010 the Housing division was placed under its mandate.
One of the important strategic buildings constructed in 1964 just after Independence