ENERGY REFORMS HIT BO AND KENEMA

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Electricity supply has become very challenging to Bo and Kenema residents since the assumption of governance by the new direction government. But the Bio led government is determined to solve the electricity woes of the two districts. On Day Two of the Launch of the Bo-Kenema Electricity Project, President Julius Maada Bio Reiterates his Government’s Commitment to Seeking a Lasting Solution to the Electricity Situation in Bo City, Southern Sierra Leone.

After launching the Bo-Kenema Network Rehabilitation and Expansion Project in Kenema, Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has today replicated that launch in Bo, and has used the occasion to assure the people of Bo that their electricity woes would soon be a thing of the past.

His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio said his government had inherited a low generation capacity and weak transmission and distribution networks in the cities of Bo and Kenema, adding that that had imposed serious electricity supply constraints on residents, ranging from forced blackouts to load shedding.

President Bio said that his government had restored confidence in international partners, noting that their presence in that part of the country for such an historic launch was indicative of how serious donor partners had taken his government and his strides to positively impact the lives of citizens.

His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, among other things, praised the British Department for International Development, DFID, the African Development Bank, AfDB, and other partners for their support to his government, linked national and human capital development to sustainable energy supply and reiterated the commitment of his government to the provision of sustainable electricity supply.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, reiterated much of what he had said in Kenema, stressing that his Ministry was superintending over the radical transformation of energy with a view to making it sustainable, affordable and reliable.

Mr. Sesay said that private sector participation in the energy sector had markedly increased through independent power producers and that legislations had been introduced to enhance and protect investments in energy. He described the project as a barometer of strides made by the government, adding that the project encompasses all sector divisions like generation, transmission, distribution, renewable energy and imported power.

Representative for DFID, Kobi Bentley, said she considered it an honour and privilege to be at the ceremony, noting that the United Kingdom Government was committed to supporting Sierra Leone in its quest to create a solid foundation for economic and social development.

Kobi Bentley added that energy was a critical driver of national development and informed the gathering that the UK government had committed a whopping £30 million to the project.

The African Development Bank Representative, Felicitas Chi Cho Atanga, said competent contractors had been awarded contracts, assuring that by 2021 a lot of work would have been completed. She reiterated the commitment of the Bank to funding projects that would transform lives of citizens such as the Bo-Kenema electricity project.

Statements were made by the Resident Minister South, Mohamed Alie, the Paramount Chief of Tinkoko Chiefdom, the contractor for Alpha T&D and the Deputy Mayor of Bo City.

The Bo-Kenema Network Rehabilitation and Expansion Project seek to overhaul the existing weak and aged distribution and transmission networks in the two cities and expand the grid to emerging and underserved communities.

FORMER POLITICIAN IN LAND GRABBING

By Foday Jalloh

People are expected to attain self-actualization, when they reach the retirement age, because they have moved from various angles in life in other to gain wealth for themselves without out reaching their peak. Some use the political line as their last option to gain wealth but still they might not satisfy or still try more other options, some might think still the national power that was vested in them is unending. Others might drop down trying to settle their life genuinely using the legal way others might not, especially the likes of Dr Sheku Sesay who after his retirement age and after his political life is seriously engage in land grabbing. This medium was shown documents by the regional police operation Freetown west who did carry out the eviction on the said land, with order from the Inspector General`s office. I have no option, but to lead fifty personnel on the ground to secure the bailiffs who were there for the eviction. Further investigation carried out by this medium reveals that the 14 acres of land at Juba Caningo, by Yumkella road in the western part of Freetown is owned by the Jessie Leigh Family, which Emmanuel Jessie Leigh is the Sole Administrator of this Land.

One of the suspected land grabber is Dr Sheku Sesay, which according to his caretaker, Pa Gera Korma who spoke to this medium in a brief interview says he has been a worker for Dr Sheku Sesay since 1982, working as cleaner at his resident 49 Spur loop, at this time he was Minister of Energy and Power under the then president Joseph Momoh regime, from that time he happens to appoint me as the caretaker of his land at Kaningo until 1999, I was able to put a structure on the land. So that he will be able to monitor the 4 tonnes lot his boss told him about in that community.

From the evidence gathered, the said portion of land is owned by the Leigh family which Mr. Emmanuel Jessie Leigh is the now administrator, for this 14acres of land.

From investigations and document available to this medium the land is owned by the Leigh, family since 1963, which this former politician Dr Sheku sesay is trying to force his way.

This suspected land grabber Dr Sesay has been invited to the Legal Aid Board(LAB) up to three times now, but to no avail, the legal aid board has consented to take the matter to court, for the court to give final ruling.

HISTORY OF HARFORD SCHOOL FOR GIRLS (1900-2020) by A.M.SesayJr.

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The Moyamba girl’s school had its beginning in the Mary Sowers Home for girls which was established at Rotifunk, in 1887 by the women’s missionary association of the United Brethren in Christ. In 1898, the buildings were destroyed incident to the uprising which, occurred in May of that year. The seventeen girls in the home were scattered, and some were never located again.

During the reconstruction period, it was decided to reopen the Home for girls at Moyamba.

Charlse Helmick was appointed assistance worker. Madam Yoko, Paramount Chief gave six acres of land for the mission compound.

Rev. and Mrs E.A.King took over the station, and within a few months had built a frame house with a ground floor for sewing and dining rooms. Three boarders were accepted in August, 1909- Two from Rotifunk and a granddaughter of Madam Yoko.

Within a year the enrollment was almost one hundred, and advanced classes for older pupils were being held at the mission residence after school hours.

Parents were quick to see the progress their girls in home training, and applications increased until the sixteen boarders were cramped in their small quarters so that in 1908 a mission house and girls’ home was completed to care for forty one (41) pupils. In 1916, Miss Minnie Eaton arrived to teach sewing. Miss Naomi Wilson also joined the staff, and she began an outstanding term of service which continued for twenty-nine years, twenty five of which she was principal. In 1919, she was joined by Miss May Hoerner who was a domestic science teacher, and who instituted a nine year plan of work, grading not only the library subjects, but including Domestic science courses in Household Arts, covering every phase of home making and Child welfare. In addition to such work, a rotation plan was put into operation in the home, whereby every girl had an assignment.

The first regular school leaving exercises were held in 1920. Amanda Weaver, Susannah Weller and Laura Dove received the school diploma. In 1921, through the drive and untiring efforts of the president of the women’s missionary association of the United Brethren in Christ and the girls of the Otterbein Guild in America; $7,000 were donated towards the construction of a new building, with classrooms and dormitories which would accommodate at least one hundred girls. The girls home was then renamed, “The Lillian R. Harford School for Girls in honour of Mrs Harford, who sacrificed so much to the missionary cause, and was then president of the women’s missionary association.

In 1921, Rev. D.M.Evans started the new building; the girls withdrew from the Day School in 1924, and the new building was dedicated in 1925. It was constructed of concrete, four stories high. The ground floor contained the Dining room, a play room, the laundry and a store. On the first floor, there was four classrooms, an infirmary, principal’s quarters and a General assembly room, the second floor was used as a dormitory, and third floor as storage. Visitors were amazed to see such impressive structure in the interior.

During the first 25 years of existence those in charge laid emphasis on the preparation of the girls for life, as Christian’s home makers. The Bible was given an important place in the curriculum, with the aim to teach the basic principles of Christian character, and to seek to instill the virtues that accompany Christian living.

After 1925 the need for enlarging the scope of work was keenly felt. A course more definitely aiming at adaptation to local conditions such as would more fit the girls for a life of practical service after leaving school, was considered essential to meet the real need.

Many students after completing their training at Harford returned to the school as teachers. Unqualified as they may have been in the light of present day requirements, a great measure of the success and prestige of the school must be attributed to those who shared in the early fundamental establishment, both by teaching and conduct, which brought the school to the vital place it holds today in the educational scheme for girls in Sierra Leone.

As the war years drew to close- provincial men and women became thoroughly aroused over the lack of opportunity for the protectorate girls to compete with girls in Freetown for the award of Government Awards, because they could not meet the requirements.

They agitated that Harford status be lifted to that of a full secondary school. The Home Board in America approved plans for expansion, and additional missionary personnel for the secondary department, until such time as Africans could be trained to qualify for advanced teaching.

In 1947, Government offered to share in the financial outlay, if Harford became a full secondary school, on a larger scale than was then anticipated. The colonial government made a grant of le 26,000, and with additional funds from America, Rev. D. E. Kenny constructed the chapel, library,staff, duplex, adminstration buildings, and 14 classrooms which were dedicated by Sir George Beresford Stooke during the Jubilee celebrations held in November, 1950. A dormitory for senior girls general science and domestic science building, several staff quarters, the June Hartranft residence and a large dining room were later constructed by Mr Chester Reinhart of the USA.

Since 1950 Harford has taken her position as a secondary school, and continues to turn out pupils of whom she can be justly proud; Paramount chiefs, doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, Social workers, secretaries, public administrators, politicians and housewives are contributing towards the progress of Sierra Leone. From the three boarders in 1900, the school now has a boarding enrollment of over four hundred and a school enrollment of over eight hundred.

Mrs Isatu Aminata Peacock is the current principal of the Harford School for Girls (H.S.G) in Moyamba town, southern part of Sierra Leone.

We wish to further expand, but we cannot because of lack of classrooms and dormitory space. We hope that in the near future, with the help of the alumni of Harford and well-wishers, the school will be able to have much needed, additional classrooms – a music room and a well equip physics, Biology and Chemistry laboratories. We at Harford will continue to provide a home where girls of varying background can learn to grow up in an atmosphere of Christian love and ideals, so that when their course is ended here, these will carry them safely through a wider world.

Obasanjo &Ecowas Speaker Dilate On Drug Trafficking

_By Abdul Malik Bangura_

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Speaker of the regional Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Parliament, His Excellency Right Honourable Sidie Mohamed Tunis has today Tuesday 1st December 2020, confirmed that some West Africa states lack the requisite laws and legal framework to adequately address the issue of drug traffickers in the region.

HE Tunis made this disclosure whilst delivering his keynote statement during a virtual town hall high level meeting co-hosted by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, the West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). The meeting which was done on the theme: “The pivotal role of parliamentarians in drug control,” was organized to discuss and explore parliamentary perspectives on how to address drug control policy in Africa.

Whilst making his remarks, the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament said that the concentration of most laws and legal framework in the region has been on punishing drug abusers who are themselves one way or the other victims. He said “there were several youths that had already been convicted and serving jail terms for possessing drugs, mostly cannabis.  In most countries in West Africa, the narcotic laws are mostly out-dated and are punitively directed at victims of abuse rather than the organized drug marketers and traffickers.”

Nonetheless, the ECOWAS Parliament Speaker said that “there is an unprecedented increase in drug abuse related crimes mainly by youths and this has brought in its trail severe social and political consequences for national Governments hence the increase in awareness of the danger it poses to national security and development in recent times.”

Consequently, the ECOWAS Parliament Speaker said that there is indeed no better time than now to address the problem of drugs and its abuse in the ECOWAS region. “This problem is rampant and if not quickly addressed, it may pose a greater threat to the survival of our future generation and our promising political and social systems,” he said.

Meanwhile, the high level virtual town hall meeting also experienced the participation of H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo former president of Nigeria and chair of WACD and H.E. Ruth Dreifuss former president of Switzerland, both members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and H.E. Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU.

In his remarks, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo former president of Nigeria and chair of WACD said that the establishment of WACD is a call on political leaders to change the narrative in combating drug trafficking in the West Africa region. He said, “there is the need for model drug law in Central and West Africa because both regions suffer from the same effect on drug trafficking.” He said, if this is not done in the earliest possible time, drug cartels could undermine democracy and the rule of law in our countries. 

“It is the poor and vulnerable who suffer the most from harsh drugs laws. The rich have the means to defend themselves,” H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo said. He added that however, the harsh laws are needed to deter drug abuses. 

In addition, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo called for the adoption of the WACD Model Drug Law by member states. He said, the Model Drug Law balances the use of drugs between the criminal justice and the health by recommending soft punishments. Hence, he called on Members of Parliaments to adopt a more progressive discussion on drug uses in their countries.

On his side, Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU said it is really important for parliamentarians to advocate for new drug laws. He said parliamentarians must advance policies to address the issue of drug trafficking. “I will encourage African Parliaments to embrace wholeheartedly the proposal to review drug laws and propose legislations that effectively address the issue of drugs,” he said.

H.E. Ruth Dreifuss former president of Switzerland and members of the Global Commission on Drug spoke on the successes of her institution in domesticating the three (3) UN Conventions relating to drugs use. 

The meeting was climaxed by discussion and comments by Parliamentary leaders of the Republic of Guinea, the Republic of Benin, the Republic of Ivory Coast, the Republic of Senegal and others who all gave meaningful contributions on the strives made so far by their governments so far in addressing the issue of drug trafficking in the ECOWAS region.

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