Past weekend’s hours of heavy downpour left some parts of the east end of Freetown experiencing mini mudslides.
The ugly incident left many residents homeless and four people confirmed dead at Water Street, Wellington, which was probably the worst-hit area, as residents’ homes and fences collapsed.
Councillors, Office of National Security (ONS), Sierra Leone Red Cross Society and other partners who visited the scenes after the disaster have assessed how many residents were affected and further planned immediate interventions.
However, flood mitigation activities have been focused on clearing debris off the affected communities to reduce the impact of future flooding as the rains continue.
Past weekend, food, clothes and blankets were provided to victims by the Freetown City Council and Non-Governmental Organization partners operating in the country.
Furthermore, a comprehensive registration of displaced households commenced by the ONS over the weekend.
President Julius Maada Bio is warning mining companies not to expect business as usual, where due diligence, accountability and fiduciary responsibility are sacrificed by those in power for contract kickbacks.
This is according to a stern warning coming from State House, as the government continues to review all mining contracts in the country to ensure they are fit for purpose and yield the highest returns and benefit for the people of Sierra Leone.
Marie Kamara, wife of late Kelvin Kamara (flash flood hero) who lost his life on April 6, 2018 says she and her three years old daughter have been abandoned by the government despite the fact that her husband rescued numerous people during the August 14th 2017 flash flood at Fullah Town in the Mountain Cut vicinity in Freetown.
Kenchine Palmer on arrival at Heathrow Airport in London
Winner of Africa Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire in Sierra Leone and Africell’s Reality Television Show - Housemates Salone, Kenchine Palmer is visiting the United Kingdom as a Guest of AYV International for the start of a four- week programme that includes a welcome event with his fans in the UK, meetings with the Commonwealth Africa Initiative, as well as state and non-state actors in the UK.
The Ministry of Information and Communication in collaboration with the UK Government has revealed that one of the cyber attacks in May 2017 affected over 150 countries around the world, and that a global cooperation to address the issue cannot be overemphasized.
This statement was made during a workshop to launch the Cyber Risk Assessment Survey at Mammy Yoko Radisson Blu Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown.
In a bid to increase access to books and educational resources for students in various institutions, the Sierra Leone Library Board has distributed 685,000 books to various schools, colleges, universities, correctional services, military and inspiring readers’ projects across the country. The distribution took place at Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) headquarters at Rokel Street in Freetown.
The winner of the Africa Young Voices (AYV) and Africell’s Reality Television Show Housemates Salone, Kenchine Palmer is visiting the United Kingdom as a Guest of AYV International for the start of a four- week programme that includes a welcome event with his fans in the UK, meetings with the Commonwealth Africa Initiative, as well as state and non-state actors in the UK.
Kenchine Palmer’s trip is fully funded by the management of AYV in collaboration with Africell as part of their responsibility to manage the winner of the Housemates Salone for a year. Kenchine will also do a fellowship with AYV International and work on the production of his new music album during the trip.
Chief Executive Officer of AYV, Ambassador Anthony Navo Jnr said:“Kenchine Palmer has already shown extraordinary talent and initiative. We are delighted to welcome Kenchine to the UK as our Guest. This is an important time for AYV as we continue to engage and empower young people and showcase their talents both nationally and internationally. This visit will reaffirm our commitment to continue our role in working with the winner of Housemates Salone, including in key areas of management, programmes, and empowerment as part of AYV and Africell’s commitment to supporting the winner of Housemates Salone”.
Ambassador Navo and Kenchine Palmer traveled together to London and one of the objective of this visit is to promote Sierra Leone as well as to expose young Kenchine to many networking opportunities.
He was received at the Heathrow International Airport by AYV’s Global Affairs CEO Madam Haja Navo, Head of Global Affairs Messeh Leone and other members of the AYV team in London.
Sounding very excited, Kenchine thanked his fans who supported him throughout the show with their votes and prayers which saw him emerging as winner of the show.
He also thanked Ambassador Anthony Navo, AYV and Africell for providing the platform for him and other young people who were part of the Housemates Salone 2019.
“This is a very big surprise to me and something I was never thinking about. Am so grateful for this opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom and looking forward to meeting my fans, the Sierra Leone community and network with other people,” he added.
Magistrate Hannah Bonnie presiding over Magistrate Court No 1 at Pademba Road in Freetown has for the third time denied Karamoh Kabba, the National Organizing Secretary of the main opposition All People’s Congress Party, Hon. Dauda Benson Kallon and twenty one others bail.Police alleged that on Monday July 29th 2019 at Hamilton Village the accused persons set ablaze the vehicle of Josephine Helen Mamawa Jackson and damaged the residence of Fatmata Barrie.
The issue of reintegration for citizens affected and suffering from disasters, imprisonment, psychological problems and trauma over the years has been a serious problem for the government. However, hundreds ofmudslide survivors in Sierra Leone that are struggling to move on most especially women and children at Mortomeh in Regent say they are displaced, have no food to eat, no proper medication, no safe water and sanitation among other problems close to 2 years after the August 12. 2017 disaster.
It could be recalled that this mudslide killed more than 1000 people and many residents like women at Mortomeh in Regent remain without shelter, despite efforts by the Office of National Security (ONS) in 2017 after the August 14th mudslide at Mortomeh and Kaningo to register more than 10,000 flood and mudslide survivors for relocation.
Minister of Energy Alhaji Kanja Sesay has said that the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) is not getting money for value. This according to him is why the government is subsidizing the operations of EDSA to a large extent. Mr. Kanja Sesay made this statement while updating AYV about the exercises he commissioned as a persistent recourse to illegal connections electricity theft in the country.
The Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority’s viability and sustainability over the years has become threatened due to rampant illegal connections to the electric grid by ill-motivated people.
The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone has said that as a way of improving human capital development in the country, Chinese universities will accept 100 new students from Sierra Leone; and more than 30 military officers to study in China; as well as offer over 700 Chinese short courses by end of the year.
China is sending almost 7,000 tons of food aid to Sierras Leone to help cushion the effects of the growing hardship facing millions of Sierra Leoneans, as the government struggles to manage the economic downturn. Millions of people, especially children are at risk of severe malnutrition as food prices continue to rise.
The Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Dr. Dennis Sandy on Monday 13th August 2019 in an exclusive interview commended the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for its invaluable support to the government, especially the Ministry, to sanitize the land tenure system in the country.
The development of a functioning website, digitalizing our operations, improving staff motivation by providing trainings and reviewing the market and operational strategy are some of the measures we are employing at the National Insurance Company (NIC) to ensure we stand ready to excel in a competitive insurance industry in Sierra Leone.”
The above was according to Managing Director National Insurance Company (NIC), Abdul Kargbo.
Sierra Leoneans in the southern part of the country have commended the European Union (EU) for undertaking key infrastructure projects in that part of the country.
The projects aim at improving road infrastructure as a driving force for economic growth and sustainable development. One of these projects is the ‘Bandajuma-Liberia Road and Bridges Rehabilitation Project’.
The Bandajuma-Liberia Road and Bridges Rehabilitation Project provides for the upgrading of 100km of road between Sierra Leone and Liberia, and the construction of three new bridges.
It was two years ago when the earth opened its belly and swallowed hundreds of lives. The torrential downpour just after midnight of August 14, 2017, ripped the rafters of houses in Freetown and its environs. By dawn, and several days after, residents wept and wailed over the loss of about 400 lives, including 109 kids. The destruction to property, including newly constructed houses, could not be quantified in financial terms.
Natasha Kamara was not among the kids who perished. She turned three years just a few weeks ago. Natasha was a year old when the mudslide occurred. She still recognizes pictures of her dad on her mum’s cellphone and would often time say: “Na me papa so” (he is my dad). Unlike the 109 children whose lives perished that day, Natasha, who will begin nursery school later in September this year, is growing up without her dad, Kevin Kamara, alias America Stress.
Mount Sugar Loaf, the epicenter of the mudslide in the Western Area Forest Reserve at Regent, used to be an inconspicuous site. Though in plain view, it was one of those forested areas that the city banked on for its defenses. Alas, that changed on the night of the mudslide two years ago. Today, the aftermath of the calamity is in plain sight. From top to bottom, the densely forested area has caved into what appears to look like a stadium-size muddy opening-a sad reminder of the destruction that struck that night.
Chief Samuel Sam-Sumana was Sierra Leone’s Vice President from September 17, 2007 to March 17, 2015. He was in 2015,
expelled from the All People’s Congress, after he was accused of trying to form a breakaway party, among other charges, all of
which he denied. This decision paved way for his sacking.
Sumana then went on to form his own party, the Coalition for Change (C4C), less than ninety days to the 2018 general elections. The C4C won all, but one of the nine parliamentary seats in Kono District, also winning both the Kono District and city council elections.
Close to two years after the general elections, Sam Sumana’s relevance in the political sphere remains intact, recently winning a local council seat in his Kono hometown in a bye-election.
But are there plans by the former VP to return to his former party – the APC, after his recent meetings with the APC leadership at the party’s headquarters in Freetown and Chairman Ernest Bai Koroma’s residence in Makeni?
Speaking to this writer at his residence, Chief Sam Sumana cast aside discussions about any possible return or otherwise to the APC to “providence” saying, there is no reason to spend time on “issues that had put us apart”, rather, “we should dwell on those issues that would bring us together…”
He also criticized the current government, especially their refusal to pay him his pension and benefit, something he referred to as “pettiness”, saying emphatically that he will not be intimidated because he is not a coward.
Development Initiative Programme a local NGO has supported victims of August 2nd flooding in Freetown. The first phase of the support is for over one hundred children in four slum communities who are within 6 to 24 months.
The aftermath of the August 2nd flood left a lot of people homeless and psychologically traumatized especially for households that are headed by women.
Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh on Tuesday 13th August, 2019, formally launched the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2019-2023 at the Miatta Conference Centre, Brookfields, in Freetown.
First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Fatima Bio is billed to deliver the report of the feasibility study on her medical center project at the United Nations on 27th September, 2019 in the United States.
This comes after Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United States; His Excellency Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai recently organized a team of experts to commence feasibility study of First Lady’s Medical Centre in Sierra Leone.
When complete, the Medical Centre will be one of the most advance Teaching Hospitals in Africa. It will cater primarily for the Mano River Union (Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone), and will be affiliated to international teaching hospitals.
The feasibility team was led by Prof. Tunga Demisrarslan, and Mrs. Mine Anlar. They met with the First Lady and her team to discuss the project. They then met with H. E. President Julius Maada.
Office of the National Security (ONS) in 2017 after the August 14th mudslide at Regent Mortomeh and Kaningo communities respectively registered more than 10,000 flood and mudslide survivors for relocation, but only 52 households were fortunate to be relocated.
However, following recent heavy downpour of rain and flash-floods on Friday 2nd August 2019, residents in Mortomeh have again said they are ready to relocate if land is provided for them by the government. They made this statement during a visit by the Chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council Kasho Holland-Cole.
It has been a few years since the mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital killed more than 1,000 people and displaced thousands of many more.
Speaking to Kasho Holland-Cole about their challenges they said they have been staying in a camp after the incident in 2017, but were asked to return to their houses after 4 months, thinking that the government will aid them to no avail.
They added that they have encountered another mudslide following the rain last Friday which affected more than 100 households and destroyed valuable assets.
The new Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Hu Zhangliang, has called on the presidency to discuss bilateral relations and development projects with His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio.
“I extend warmest greetings from His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, who is very much impressed with your presidency, particularly in areas of territorial integrity, sovereignty and security, diplomacy and development,” the Ambassador said.
CSE, the giants in road construction is very confident that the construction of the Moyamba-Moyamba Junction Road will finally be completed and handed over in March next year.
This assurance was given on Wednesday 7th August 2019, at a press conference held at CSE’s site in the outskirts of Moyamba town.
The Country Director, Amadou Gaye called on all parties involved in the project to play their own part and help the company meet the deadline scheduled for 25th March, 2020.
Journalists representing major media houses from Freetown, Bo and Moyamba were in attendance together with the Deputy Chairman for Moyamba District Council, Moyamba Youth President and a host of civil society activists residing in the district.
At the press conference, CSE’s Country Director commended Sierra Leone Roads Authority for doing their best in ensuring that the company completes it work on time.
The National Authorizing Office under the supervision of the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning secured a grant of €40.7 million from the European Development Fund as support to the Government of Sierra Leone towards the construction of the road. CSE took over and started the work in March last year because of non-performance by MSF as their contract was terminated on July 21st, 2017.
Sierra Leone Members of the Female Parliamentary Caucus have met with His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio to present recommendations from their visit to Parliaments in the East African countries of Kenya and Rwanda.
Presenting the report of their benchmarking exercise at State House, President of the Female Parliamentary Caucus, Honorable Veronica Kadie Sesay, said the recommendations were products of the relentless efforts of the Caucus to support President Bio’s 2018 Elections Manifesto to the women of Sierra Leone.
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is committed to supporting the mobilization of resources required to support the implementation of Sierra Leone’s strategic plan which aims to strengthen the country’s Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) and ID management system.
This will make the system to function efficiently in supporting public administration, good governance and service delivery.
This was said by Oliver Chinganya, Director of the ECA’s Africa Centre for Statistics, at an event commemorating the second Africa Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day which also marked the official launch of the Comprehensive Country Assessment and by the National CRVS Strategic Plan in Sierra Leone.
The ECA Director praised Sierra Leone’s President, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, and his government for their commitment to strengthening the nation’s national CRVS system following the fundamental principles of Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics that have governed CRVS reform in Africa.
The Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has appointed former Ghana Black Stars Coach Sellas Tetteh to manange the country's national senior male football squad Leone Stars.
SLFA in a press statement said after thorough interview process by the association's Head Coach Recruitment Committee and based on scores earned by the various candidates, the Executive Committee of the Football Association wishes to announce to the general public and the football family the appointment of Sellas Tetteh Teivi as the Head Coach of the National Senior Team (Leone Stars).
Sellas who is already in Freetown is expected to start work with the next 48 hours with up to fifty players who have been undergoing training at the Football Academy under the supervision of the Technical Director Jebbor Sherrington.
The coach who had a short spell with the national squad around 2016 is returning to a familiar territory with a responsibility to appoint his own backroom staff.