With Elkass I.L. Sannoh Mob
Mr. President: The Provision of Social Services is Grossly Insufficient It seems as if we are sitting on a ticking time bomb, but it can be defused with sincere patriotism backed by the political will from all quarters. It is an undeniable fact that the immeasurable unemployment rate among urban and rural youth is a recipe for social instability and a significant variable. The unemployed youths include University graduates, high school graduates with the WASSCE Certificate, Secondary School drop outs and the uneducated who are without gainful employment. These youths roam the community with no source of income to support themselves and families. Hence they can do anything to survive. They are also determined to take the law into their hands by posing threat to their communities.
Invariably the unemployed youths are in general accused of shoplifting, pick pocketing, armed robbery, banditry and other anti-social behaviours.
Let the Voiceless confess that there was wide jubilation from State House to every corner of Freetown and its environs when the Bumbuna Hydro Electric switch was turned on in 2010. President Ernest Bai Koroma and his out gone Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, were singing it aloud more than the country’s national Anthem. After one year in full swing, Regent, Scan Drive, Kaningo, Dwarzak, Calaba Town, Moiba and the mountain communities, among others, went into constant black out. For how long more will the residents wait before they experience the arrival of a permanent Bumbuna Hydro Electric Power?
The current Minister of Energy and Power, Mr. Oluniyi Robbin-Coker must at once cease to give empty promises to residents of Freetown, instead he must provide the leadership and sincerely explain in detail how to overcome the shortcomings of his Ministry, such as the erratic and inadequate power supply.
Similar to electricity supply, pipe borne water supply is also a scarce commodity. With few pumps around, water supply is grossly insufficient, irregular and also in very short supply in Freetown and its environs. It is amazing the police standby and watch 10-15 year-old kids riding “bearings” loaded with five-gallon containers on busy thorough fares in the capital city to fetch water for their parents, guardians, neighbours, and or customers.
The Voiceless is also witnessing pulling and shoving at the Upper Brook public tap, as well as Robert Street and Dundas Street. Similar scenario was evident at the intersection of Circular Road and Earl Street. Candidly no better water pipes have been laid in the capital city since imperial rule. It is evidently clearly that there is shortage of water in almost every bathroom in down town Freetown. The list goes on to include Fourah Bay College campus where more than five thousand students, academic staff and non-academic support staff live and attend classes and work.
In addition to the stench from uncollected garbage at major intersections in the capital city, for example- Circular Road and Berry Street (around J.F. Kennedy International), the length of Kissy Road and Congo Market area, the narrow and blocked drainages at Charles Street, Cemetery Road in Congo Town and Henry Street all contribute to the dirty environment.
In the East End, Fourah Bay Road gutter, Mammy Yoko Street and Kanikay also add up to the eye sore. There is no standard drainage in Freetown; see Circular Road, Lumley, the newly constructed Wilkinson Road during the rainy season. Dove Cut and Mabela are perhaps the dirtiest areas in Freetown and Sierra Leone. In spite of such deplorable condition, the marketers trade comfortably, eat breakfast, lunch and even dinner without reference to the squalor. Additionally, these are some of the areas where the Sierra Leone currency ‘Leone’ is mutilated and disfigured. Indeed, anything clean taken to Dove Cut comes out filthy including your footwear.
Meanwhile, The Voiceless wants to draw the attention of the current Government to Kroobay. It is but high time the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, under Madam Miatta Kargbo, declared Kroobay unfit for human beings to live. The large open drainage in the heart of Kroobay filled with plastic bags, rags and household rubbish should urge health officials to take the required steps to prevent the breakout of cholera and other air borne ailment or diseases. The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans cautiously demand that residents of Kroobay vacate that area and either return to their communities in the provinces or seek refuge somewhere else in town.
Nowadays, the search for accommodation- self contained houses or apartment for rent is a nightmare. The few self-contained houses and apartments for rent are out of reach for the average Sierra Leoneans. They are exclusively for staff of high profile organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, International Non Governmental Organizations, the United Nations and few government institutions who earn United States Dollars and can afford the rent charges in dollars. How many employers in the country can afford to rent from such dwelling facilities? The Voiceless urged that a National Housing Policy is therefore urgently needed to salvage the citizenry.
Although a National Health Policy has been designed via provision of free drugs to lactating mothers, the impact on the supposedly beneficiary is not realised in places like Jimmy Bagbo, where the current Sierra Leonean Ambassador to China Mr. Victor Bockarie Foe was born; Kayimbor and Laminaya few miles to Kamakwie, the birth place of the current Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Frank Karbgo.
Moreover, a burning issue in the capital city and its environs is the mass transit system in addition to the horrendous traffic jam due to insufficient street network the lack of public transportation system compounds the problem for commuters to and from work. Elementary, primary, technical schools as well as college students have similar experience. It is disheartening to see secondary school pupils walk from Up-Gun to Saint Edwards and Saint Joseph’s Convent. Suffice it to say that secondary school pupils are often on the streets up to 10:00pm before arriving home due to difficulty to get on board mini-buses and taxis.
Conclusively, Mr. President, since the provision of quality education to your citizens has been the priority of the Agenda for Prosperity, The Voiceless wanted to remind your Government about the present deplorable conditions of Njala University and FBC. Among the visible concerns raised are: No hostel facility at FBC campus, insufficient lecture rooms and sitting accommodation for students. As for Njala campus, the students are asking for improved library facility and the use of internet to do research.
Mr. President, you told The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans that in order to access a better prosperity, one need to sweat it out. As my pen cry for a rest, The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans are asking that you continue to do more and more so that they can benefit from this prosperity. This is The Pen of The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans.