SOLAR FOR EDUCATION TO COMMUNITIES

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Deputy Permanent Secretary making sensitizing households at the Gorahun Town, Kenema District

Ministry of Energy, sponsors deepen community engagement on the processes, procedures, and utilization of the small mini-grids solar power that had been connected to households in rural communities across the country.

EmmanuelJulisa, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy informedcommunities that the small mini-grids are operated by private operators investing in the project to sustain it long term sustainability. Adding that, communities are paying for utilizing the electricity through the different agents.

Deputy Permanent Secretary admonished communities’ households not to use heavy electrical appliances on the solar mini-grids because it would consume a lot of electrical power, which in return will cost them more monies to recharge.  

The Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP) was developed to support the Government of Sierra Leone through support by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and RREP is implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (NOPS) on behalf of the ministry of energy, Hans OseterlooCeesay, Energy Demand Assessment Associate (UNOPS) said.  

YusifMohai, Town Chief of Moawoma Town Kenema District extremely commended government for the electricity supply that has been reached at their door-step, and the emergence of the solar electrification at Moawoma town is a crystal justification on how it will touch their lives and improve their daily activities and he expressed appreciation to the government, development partners for such transformation and join their town to a modernize system of living.

LahaiSama of Gorahun Town, Kenema District declared that will comply with the processes and procedures of the project to sustain the facility, adding that for far too long, their community has been one of the most deprived communities in Gorahun Town, many times, neighboring communities in the district had been getting benefits from social amenities, but theirs had been exempted from such assistance. 

=RATTICLES=

Give The Temnes A Break!

Fantastic audio…wow! That is why I will always stand for a real, veritable Truth and ==Reconciliation Commission to holistically discuss the issue of tribalism and all the other negative factors that led to our country’s demise. We lack the Truth and not also honest and sincere, but we equally also know, that only the Truth and God shall set Salone free! What are the root causes of tribalism, it’s origin and who are the main players and intensifiers?

Let me say that I grew up in an environment where we never discussed tribalism at home or in school or hate speech for any particular tribe; whether as a young boy growing up at Yebaya, Kambia or in Freetown. In Freetown, we lived with the Moses Tucker family at 18 Sanders street, the father of Melvin Tucker of BSL and we grew up with his other siblings including engineer Franklyn Tucker of Salone Brewery and Dudley Tucker  as a family, and our compound was filled with love and good feeling for one another. Our people in Kambia used to talk about ‘ibos’ or man-eaters who lived in the south-east and the word ‘ibo,’ is perhaps a reference to Bo City. Historian and FBC lecturer, JOD Alie wrote about the Simba cannibals who put fear in the south-east by eating their fighters if they refused to pay obeisance to them. After the Mande invasion which also spread to the north and other areas, Joe Allie concluded that the Simbas decided to live in that part of the country. That is why cannibalism is so rife, especially in the border areas between Liberia and Salone. My mother used to tell me how my dad was lodged at a village around Gerehun towards Bo but that the room which was at the back of the house had no door. As soon as everybody went to bed, my father took his bundle and stealthily walked out of the hut to be swallowed by the midnight darkness. My mother said dad was indeed, terribly afraid and decided to take no chance whatsoever. I am aware that most tribes often refer to Mendes as snail or ‘gbaygbay eaters.’ But it was only when the Chinese arrived in Kambia to construct  theKambia bridge that for the first time, I learnt that some people do eat monkeys. People also came from the southeast to hunt them bcos they like the Chinese also love monkey meat.  I never heard of any family that eats monkey in Kambia; it was simply not meat for them. I first chopped monkey meat at Benguema barracks on the invitation of a soja friend.

 I also heard about cannibalism during the 67 elections when the APC accused SLPP of  cannibalism. Villagers would scream at dead of night as if being carried by cannibals as they wail in Temne… ‘akayramio! which means they are taking me away or in Krio..dendaekerr me go.. oooo! The SLPP would accused the APC of  propaganda and wicked lies and that it was the very APC that would slaughter sheep and goats and sprinkle the blood on the highway to look as if it was cannibalism. There was also the case of APC minister, AlimamyGhazali who was hanged for ritual murder.  Similar rituals are alleged to take place in Lodges and secret societies. However, in Governor Clarkson’s famous prayer, he called on God to unleash his wrath on our wicked leaders and all those who seek the destruction of Mama Salone; but for God to have mercy on them in the world hereinafter. For with all our abundant wealth, Saloneman still relish human flesh. Indeed, there still exists amongst us those who believe in simbaiism or cannibalism. During the 97 interregnum in the south-east, yamoto or the eating of human flesh was a commonality; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report confirmed this. An indigene of Kenema district, US-based Professor Jimmy Kandeh once told me that he would never again contribute a single dime to Tegloma when on a research trip to Kenema, he found out that his own people ate human flesh and roast them in bandas as well. A story appeared in For di People newspaper after CID officer Allieu released a man from Moyamba accused of ritual murder. He told them he used to send some yamoto for late SLPP vice-president, Solomon EkumaBerewa.

I had a very educated Kono girlfriend who first made me aware how sharp and deep tribalism is. She grew up in one of the most affluent Kono families and she told me how they were made to believe from childhood that the Temnes are the bad people and their enemies who came to Kono to steal their diamonds; violent and therefore, should be avoided. They refer to Temnes as ‘osasunaarkonateh’ meaning, that the Temneman will beat his wife until he breaks her head. And that after smoking tabaka which is marijuana or diamba, he would then fall not only on his wife but would also beat the mother-in-law. After my sack as Sports minister, I visited for the first time one night, late APC minister BoieKamara who was ill, and was shocked to hear from no less a woman but the sister of our reverred former first lady, Finda Koroma ( who I think represents Salone at Ecowas or so), openly stating her unbridled hate and disgust for Temnes and that they are bad people. I was shocked! It was then that I realised how deep the tribal prejudice which runs so deep and no longer a joking matter! Interestingly, most  women I dated in my life are south-easterners but they hardly expressed strong tribal sentiments; and they would often tell me, that their mende brothers are bad and tribalistic to the core; as if it has become part of their cultural heritage. The Mendes refer to the Temnes as ‘tri minit,’ that they are violent and quick to anger and very loud, noisy, loquacious, boastful and quick to anger and fight as well, very jingoistic. They see the Temne as their greatest enemy and blame the northern-based APC as responsible for the violence and economic woes and conflicts of Salone, especially in Mende line. The Temne even though perhaps the least tribalistic and open-minded tribe in the entire country, is also quite aware of this hate and divide and so, always on their guard. They would quickly identify a Mendebcos they are notorious for speaking their tongue regardless the circumstances, event or environment, in the office or in ordinary conversation, whether in the midst of other tribes or not. Temnes refer to Mendes as ‘anfimarratha,’ that they are unreliable, untrustworthy and can easily betray a cause. That they behave like the cutting grass rodent who ends up destroying your entire harvest. Or, like the fish in dark swamp whose splash could only reveal it’s true habitat. My wife who grew up at Segbwema told me how both Mendes and Temnes sang to the popular Congolese song called ‘Makambo.’ That while Temnes would sing to the rhythm…..kidiamintkeyema…ki toffee keyema; meaning, give me toffee or give me diamint, the Mende would sing that part as…..’Temnemantigbaygbay….Temnemantigbaygbay…that Temnes are bad people. I was seized, if not consumed by a bout of roaring laughter!

These sharp cleavages have polluted every institution and workplace in the country from the varsities to schools. I experienced it at FBC, but it was more or less perpetuated by students from south-east and so the north and western area group together to thwart tribalism and what is referred to as the fixity mentality of the other side. My wife also experienced the same tribalism at Milton Margai. The NPRC of south-eastern coupists backed by SLPP politicians coup d’etaed the APC for reducing Saloneans to third class citizens and selling the economy to foreigners. They hated the APC to the extent of banning the party; and Bio personally brought down the billboard and changed the name from SiakaStevens stadium to national stadium. But I later re-named it SiakaStevens stadium as minister bcos you have to give the devil his due. But it was the NPRC misrule that intensified tribalism at the varsities with SLPP students known as Blackman or kolonkos and APC-Western Area, as Whiteman ie prostitutes and criminals, thus depicting the very true nature of a polluted system that has today produced a totally negative polluted breed. They throw shit at each other’s hostels during campus elections. The same as in downtown politics, where these two dominant parties often throw the same shit and urine at each other, depicting a shitty-shitty system that the APC Youth Revolution in the God Revolution must put an end to inorder to save Mama Salone forever!

It is true that the British system of divide and rule played it’s part to divide and exploit us, but that problem could’ve long been settled thru prosperity and education. But instead, our SLPP leaders took to miseducation, tribalism and other negative ‘isms’ that have torn us apart to the point of almost no return. But let us pray that reconciliation should not be a fallacious dream as in the case between the 13 American states and Gt Britain; where Nature hath deserted the Connection; and Art can no longer hold its place! And thus the first shots were fired at Lexington and Bunkers Hill that heralded the American War of Independence and the beacon of democracy. Under Bio, the SLPP has intensified tribalism at such an alarming proportion. SAT Koroma with no degree was the only minister who made the nation self-sufficient in rice production. Dr SorieForna, Ibrahim Bash-Taqi and Sam Bangura were the only ministers who stood against corruption and tyranny and were executed on trumped-up charges. These patriots ensured the Leone was stronger than the American dollar. They resigned or murdered when APC’s priority was to train tom-tom macoutes and buy weapons and tanks from Cuba. As well as mortgaged the economy to all sorts of foreign vested-interests. But who else among our educated class since Shaki brought them into state governance, that negates Shaki’s justification of our so-called bukmen to conclude, that indeed,…’nasensmekbuknortobukmeksens.’ So I should now pose the question; who destroyed Salonebcos the SLPP always lay the blame squarely on the lap of APC. But indeed, SLPP had the keys to unlock the nation’s potentials into prosperity but it would appear, that their main problem is that they are perennially tribalistic and harbour long-held grudges; and just as unforgiving as many people would also say about the Sherbros. The 27 April 1898 massacre of over 300 white missionaries and about a thousand Krios was simply bcos they were successful traders,  well-dressed and good looking and not illiterates. So everybody that was associated with Krio or dressed like a Krio had to die; and for a matter they didn’t trigger or even concerned them. They were however massacred like wanton flies simply bcos a frontier police eloped with the wife of Moyamba paramount chief, PC Caulker. The British executed 98 Mende ringleaders. BaiBureh fought the Hut Tax War the same 1898 but he perfected the art of killing British soldiers and their West Indian Regiment. Krios and others were allowed to trade freely and without any victimization. The only white man killed by BaiBureh’s men was the first principal of Fourah Bay College, Mr Humphrey suspected to be a spy. BaiBureh apologised profusely and the more reason he was returned from exile in the Gold Coast to die amongst his people. But that grudge still runs deep amongst the Mendes to the extent, that it has become toxic and cultist. Evidence can be adduced from the Mende War of 27 April 1898, to SLPP formation 27 April 1951, to SLPP independence 27 April 1961;  all the coups and other conflagrations, including the rebel war can be traced to the month of April and all from the same side! Is this therefore, a coincidence, or a long-term strategy to be finally executed by the Paopanistas!

The saying goes that if the fish head is rotten, the whole body collapses and that where vision is lacking, the whole nation perish! Good leaders uplift their people from the morass of decadence to become proud, developmental and prosperous. Sir Milton ruled the country for more than ten years before independence and another four as prime minister. But he was a tribalist, a tyrant and introduced corruption on a wide-scale. He introduced Lebanese and other foreigners into mining by giving vast mining areas to sourh-eastern chiefs who lack the money and in turn, transferred our God-given wealth to foreigners, which practice continues to this very day; and with no tangible benefits whatsoever for the country and her people. Sir Albert was even worst as the SLPP intensified corruption, tribalism, sectionalism, nepotism, elections rigging and stuffing of ballot boxes from England where they were printed. Albert introduced all the bad tyrannical and despotic laws which the present SLPP is about to intensify thru their Cyber Bill. The SLPP introduced the first coup and they bequeathed same tradition to their kith and kin; and President Kabbah, who was smuggled illegally to power was banned never to hold any public office where honesty and integrity is the watchword. Siaka Stevens was SLPP then PNP led by the two Margais. He was Milton’s Mines minister and a card-carrying and foundation member of the SLPP. APC knew his background but the Temneman is generally not tribalistic, and I can vouchsafe for that! Shaki brought to the APC all the bad habits and that typical dog-eat dog, usai den tie cow nadae e for eat, den say Bailor Barrie u say Davidson Nicol mentality from SLPP, which has destroyed Salone and introduced the bad heart and pull him down syndrome and our negative mindset. But Shaki brought onboard all SLPP political stalwarts from the southeast into the one-party system; and they benefitted from it more than the Temneman who invariably was ostracized by all govtsand  their sons killed for being true patriots. South-eastern politicians benefitted more than any tribe under the APC and held top positions including the vice-president and sometimes, acted as president. The SLPP knows that Shaki is their own very kith and kin, born and bred with the same corrupt and tyrannical traits as SLPP had always exhibited whenever in power. Some Limbas do claim him, even though he ruled in a typical SLPP style,  and not as Limba. I need not re-iterate the evil APC committed to the country; and Shaki had the chance like Paul Kagame, to had brought positìve change and unity but he failed. The crisis in the south east under APC was perpetrated not by the northern elites or any Temne leader, but between the Mende elites and chiefs for political dominance based on long-standing grudges. Shaki imposed Momoh and must take the blame for his political failures. The NPRC coup was hatched by the SLPP and Bio brought SLPP to power in 96. FodaySankoh the rebel leader is a Mende whose father, Pa Bernard is from Segbwema; and the SLPP hatched that war, and copious facts exists to prove this truism.  APC under EBK at least made a bit of progress, though not as outstanding as it should’ve been or expected by progressive forces. EBK is invariably recognised as Limba-Loko. SLPP is back in power under Bio and unlike the APC which at least would shake the tree for all to pick, the SLPP with their sack would climb up and after picking, climb down as if nobody is watching….a typical case of the ostrich head buried in the sand. The SLPP is totally blinded by tribalism and unbridled corruption as witnessed under Bio just within three years in governance and to be true, Mendes can only feel safe and comfortable when they are together, amongst themselves; maybe just a way of life. They would step on the object but the same time be looking for it. When infact, it is under their foot! So what has the Temnes actually done to always get a bad name from the Mendes and others when infact, they are yet to rule Salone as a tribe? Can the APC consider them, if any exists that have the qualities of Forna, Taqi and Sam Bangura? Let us therefore give the Temnes a break! For once!

=LEGENDARY COLUMN=

ByShekuPutkaKamara

COVID-19 and the Abnormalities of 2019-2020

Seated at the third floor of a six storied building, Old pa Victor who preferred not to be addressed by his surname was smiling as he was talking to me. The man reads a lot of newspapers. It was not surprising that he had copies of almost all newspapers in Sierra Leone. To him, that is one of the ways he gets himself thoroughly informed about societal matters. Pa Victor had taken my contacts from some of the newspapers I have been editing in recent pasts and the current others that I still edit, of course. He called me to inquire if I was already in my forties or fifties. Lol. Maybe he is mistaking me and that if he had already not mistaken me for my father. On that, Pa Victor is not alone anyway. To him, he was amazed that my Legendary Column is featured in most newspapers in Sierra Leone and so among other matters, he wanted to know the secret. Well, I am still searching and learning… A good number of colleague journalists would publish my writings even without informing me.  Others will always inform me, but whatever the case is, maybe there’s some impact in what we do. To cut a long story shorter, at least for this opening, Pa Victor was amazed that a young man in his twenties, chasing thirty would be doing what many would consider impossible and yes, he wanted to talk about COVID and the abnormalities of 2019-2020 too. 

For many people, the abnormalities of the late 2019 and the rest of this 2020 are not shrouded in secrecy. The world over, economies were challenged in many respects. For underdeveloped nations like Sierra Leone, COVID-19 could not have surfaced during the worst of times. The effects of Ebola are yet to completely go away and so any new strain would just add up to Sierra Leone’s already challenging health care system. The year 2020 has been dubbed as the year of face masks.

Health experts were categorical to inform that the appropriate use of face masks would lessen the spread of the virus. It was therefore not by mistake that for the past one year or so, some of us have been in constant touch with our face masks.

Freetown is clearly crowded and surely, the adherence to the putting on of face masks has not been absolutely cool. In most cases, people put on face masks for fear of been embarrassed and or interrupted by law enforcing personnel. For others, maybe it is because they have to enter hospitals, banks and other places. Even in some of those places, adherence has never been on a hundred percent scale. These challenges continue to pose a serious threat to COVID-19 cases. South Africa recorded over fourteen thousand positive COVID-19 cases the other day. Sierra Leone was almost stationed at zero, but that story has now changed. Recently, we hand over twenty new positive cases in a day. Our death toll is relatively low compared to other nations, but that does not in any way suggest that we should treat things with levity.

Judging by what health professionals have mentioned, it would be disastrous if we allow COVID-19 to disturb us even more. Let us remind ourselves that in Freetown alone, body contact is almost inevitable at Fourah Bay Road, Bombay, Kissy Road, SaniAbacha Street, PZ and almost the rest of the CBD and Lumley. In most cases, we have compatriots that would be profusely perspiring in the sun. Surely, that is not a healthy approach. Those are some of the reasons we should not be complacent in the fight against this coronavirus. It is high time we stood up and learn to realize that ours is a nation that lacks many things and that we must be ready to make a judicious usage of what we already have, so as to limit the possible spread of further anomalies.

These are hard times for most people. The privileged few may not consider themselves to be a part of such narrative, but yeah, those who feel it, know it. We have always made endless cases that the fight against the coronavirus requires collective efforts. There has to be a way we negate sentimentality and try to focus on the reality. This is the only place some of us would call home and so the moment we fix it here and now, the better it would be for all of us. In all of these goings, accurate information sharing would help the narrative and this is not just for COVID precautionary measures, but in the response too, because accountability and transparency are matters too serious to be toyed with.

Generally, African governments have found it knotty to be entirely transparent and accountable. This is not just for Sierra Leone, but our people deserve better. We’d keep saying this. Poverty is still an issue in Sierra Leone. Let us make things right for the masses. We should learn to ditch matters of prejudiced party and affiliation lines. Such stuffs have never rightfully positioned us. Must we not positively change?

As I end today’s Legendary Column, let us all remember that we now have lessons to learn from as we enter 2021. It is necessary to patch those mean ways that may have disrupted a whole lot of other issues in this 2020. Today is actually Thursday December 24th 2020, and so hopefully and by the Grace of God, next Thursday’s Legendary Column (Thursday 31st December 2020) shall be the closing write-up for the year at least for the Legendary Column of ShekuPutkaKamara… We may use that time to reflect on how 2020 has been and to see how best we all could sort things better and preeminent for a fruitful and rosy 2021. Compliments of the season to all and sundry and may the Almighty continue to guide and protect us all, Aameen/Amen!

PUBLIC REVIEW SPORT

SLFA ANNOUNCES INTENTIONS TO APPEAL

The Sierra Leone Football Association has in an official correspondence to CAF Secretariat yesterday Thursday April 1, 2021 officially announced its intention to appeal against the decision of the AFCON Organizing Committee to postpone the match #151 of the 2021 AFCON Qualifiers between Sierra Leone and Benin “until the next FIFA international window scheduled for June 2021”.

SLFA in the correspondence states that, “The Benin National Team (Squirrels of Benin) although they were afforded all the opportunities to partake in the competition, indicated an express refusal to participate in the aforesaid match and conducted themselves in such manner that was not only prejudicial to the possibility of the match being held but also injurious and threatening to the health and safety of all concerned”.

SLFA’s intention to appeal against the above-mentioned decision is premised principally but not limited to the following: that the decision by the AFCON Organizing Committee is not supported by law, that there was a breach of COVID-19 domestic protocols, that there was a breach of natural justice principles, and that the entire modus of the “Squirrels of Benin” was to abandon and/or refuse to play the match.

Date Set for 2021 Cameroon African Cup of Nations Draw

Algeria won the last edition of the Total Africa Cup of Nations played in Egypt.

Caf executive held a videoconference meeting on Tuesday chaired by the new CAF President, Patrice Motsepe.

It was revealed that the draw for the group stages is set for 25 June, most likely after Sierra Leone and Benin’s rescheduled clash. The tournament will kick start on 9 January 2022.

Caf statement reads: “The Executive Committee unanimously approved the proposed dates for the organization of the draw (June 25, 2021) and the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2021 Cameroon final tournament (January 9 to February 6, 2022).”

Among other things, infrastructures, and the challenges presented by COVID-19 PCR tests currently required during competitions, were discussed.”

Below are the 23 teams already qualified, and the winner between Sierra Leone and Benin will take the final spot to complete the 24 nations.

S/Leone Premier League Returns on April 23rd

The Sierra Leone premier league will start on the 23rd April, 2021.

The decision was taken by the membership of the Sierra Leone Premier League board.

A 90 days one round league to commence this month, this is according to a meeting held between the Sierra Leone Premier League Board and the premier league clubs. Read more.

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