It can be recalled that several people have lost their lives and properties worth millions of leones, with the latest ugly incident being in July this year when a boat crossing the river capsized, killing two women and destroyed valuable properties.
Handing over the donation, Solidaridad’s Country Representative in Sierra Leone, Nicholas Jengre said his organization is an international civil society organization with more than 45 years of global experience in facilitating the development of socially responsible, ecologically sound and profitable supply chains.
He went on to say Solidaridad works across twelve supply chains and operates through nine regional offices on five continents with their West Africa regional office headquartered in Accra, Ghana.
Solidaridad according to him has also been implementing the Land, Enhancing Governance and Economic Development (LEGRND) project in Zimmi Makpele chiefdom since 2016, adding that the objective of the project is to facilitate enabling policies on land governance by ensuring that the land acquisition procedures of large-scale agricultural investor (Natural Habitat) meet the national and international best practices.
“We introduce two flagship programs in Sierra Leone this year. The cocoa rehabilitation and intensification program (CORIP II) and the sustainable West Africa oil Palm Program (SWAPP II). Both (CORIP II) and (SWAPP II) programs are aimed to bring scale to the sustainable intensification of cocoa and oil palm production and processing in Sierra Leone” the country representative stated.
In conclusion Nicholas expressed thanks and appreciation to the government of Sierra Leone and the relevant stakeholders, coupled with local and international partners for their relentless supports.
He said his organization was dismayed with the continued loss of precious lives crossing the river and this according to him necessitated the idea of them providing the residents with the life jackets.
Welcoming and thanking Solidaridad for saving his people’s lives, Paramount Chief (PC) Vandi Kong Magona VII of Barri chiefdom, Pujehun district could not hold his emotion as he narrates the level struggles his subjects have been going through in going across the river without safety.
He confirmed that there has been loss of lives from people crossing the river to see their family members on the other side and also to do trade and other domestic activities. This according to him was as a result of them going across the river on wooden boats without putting on life jackets which were unavailable before the coming of Solidaridad.
He said they have made several appeals to government and other organizations to come to their aide by providing them with life jackets but that all their pleas have been landing on deaf ears, save Solidaridad.
He warned his chiefs to ensure the jackets are worn by all passengers boarding the boat and local ferries crossing the river without any exception.
As he continued to shower praises on Solidaridad, the PC appealed for the organization to help them with more supplies of life jackets to cover the remaining 9 river crossing points within the chiefdom which are as well dangerous and life threatening as the Muala crossing point.
Other speakers that expressed similar sentiments and showered praises on Solidaridad for the donation and its good works in the district include; Ing. Edmond Tommy from the SLRA, Aminu Sandy from local council, CSE’s Dr. Paul Zanvle, agriculture ministry’s Sonny B. Williams and CARL’s Jonny Ben Simbo among other eminent personalities and local authorities in the chiefdom.