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Last Updated: Feb 17th, 2009 - 17:17:41 
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Awareness Times News Briefs from Sierra Leone
By Awareness Times News
Feb 17, 2009, 17:08
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Father Sets Son Ablaze

Alfred Bangura of No. 8 Old Aberdeen Road, Lumley, Freetown, is reported to have set both hands of his son, Abass Bangura aged 8 years, on fire. The father is reported to have confessed to the crime. The victim reportedly told the Lumley police that his father accused him of stealing his money, which resulted in his hands being bundled together and set ablazed by same. According to the boy, he denied the allegation but that his father insisted that the money was stolen by him. He explained how his hands were tied and soaked with Kerosene before being burnt. The matter is currently being investigated by the Lumley Police Station. The culprit is in police custody awaiting to face charges of child cruelty among others.

Construction of Houses Banned

President Koroma is reported to have banned the construction of buildings around the water catchments areas and forest reserves in the Western Area. Reports say the move to prohibit people from engaging in construction work in the said areas is not intended to create hardship for anybody, but rather to save the lives of the people of Sierra Leone from environmental hazards caused chiefly by deforestation. Many water catchments including the Guma valley own area have been adversely affected by the spate of deforestation taking place around the peninsular area. Guma Valley is reported to be experiencing a slight shortage of water in its reservoir as a result of this. The government is reportedly planning to put in place an environmental policy aimed at sensitizing citizens about the need to protect the environment.

Two Girls Forcefully Initiated into Bondo

Two girls aged 3 and 11 years respectively, are said to have been forcefully initiated into the Bondo society in Bombali District, north of Sierra Leone, despite widespread condemnation. The two teenagers are reported to have suffered serious pain and internal bleeding shortly after the initiation, and are said to be admitted at the Makeni Government Hospital. While the police are investigating the matter, human rights organizations and the media have raised serious concerns over the seeming problematic situation.

NASSIT Buys 10-Year Old Small Ferry

The National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT) has reportedly bought a 10-year old ferry from The Netherlands, costing a whooping four million euros. The ferry will be plying the Freetown-Lungi route, alongside the regular ferries. NASSITs Public Affairs Manager, Osman Koroma, is quoted to have remarked that a second NASSIT ferry is due soon.

WFP Launches First Food Voucher in Africa

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has lunched its first food voucher operation to address hunger in Africa. The new voucher programme is targeting 120,000 people who are suffering from high food prices in the urban area of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Under the new programme, family members will be given a voucher worth 1.500 Franc CFA (U$3) which they can use to get goods from shops that have signed contracts with WFP.

Over 1000 Students Matriculate at FBC

Over 1000 newly admitted students at the Fourah Bay College have undergone the traditional matriculation ceremony at the Ajayi Crowther Amphitheatre. The matriculation of the said students gives them the passport to enter into the University of Sierra Leone to pursue higher learning. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, Professor Aiah Gbakima is reported to have advised the new intakes to make their academic work their first priority. He informed them about the non compromising disciplinary measures in place to ensure that only students who are ready to learn are retained. He also reportedly discussed the ban on social club activities on campus.

Confusion Grips Ansarul Islamic Mission Mosque

Members of the newly constructed Ansarul Islamic Mission Mosque at Pillar Street, Wellington, Freetown, are reported to have clashed over the use of the mosque sometime last week. Reports say the fracas started when worshippers of the mosque discovered that the mosque is now a court room where cases are being heard and fines levied. The Imam of the mosque, Sheik Alhaji Kamara, is said to be serving as a local chief in the area and that the absence of a court facility to hear cases has left him with no option but to use the mosque as a court yard.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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