From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Chief raises alarm over neglect
By Mohamed Kabba
Nov 22, 2010, 12:16

Pa Alimamy Bockarie Kamara, Section Chief of Fintonia Town, which happens to be the headquarter town of one of the largest chiefdoms in the country, Tambakha, in the Bombali District, is alarmed that the Tambakha Chiefdom has been suffering from what he described as total neglect.

“Governments have come and gone but none of them seem to recognize our chiefdom as being part of Sierra Leone,” the chief said in a recent interview with the Awareness Times.

He explained that the chiefdom is plagued with various challenges including but not limited to lack of police presence, poor road networks and lack of secondary schools.

Section Chief Pa Alimamy Bockarie Kamara said the chiefdom is under constant security threats, whilst pointing out that several people commit grave crimes and escape justice as a result of the lack of police presence.

He described the situation as alarming due to the fact that the chiefdom is too big to be left without law enforcement agents.

According to him, the people in the chiefdom consider themselves as abandoned. This situation, he continued, has over the years being forcing several residents to undertake most of their work and business transaction in neighboring Guinea, as according to him, they now consider Guinea, which is about twenty miles from the village, as their home.

The Chief however expressed gratitude over the government’s free health scheme, which, he said the residents are enjoying.

Chief Kamara pointed out that they had written official letters to Zain and Africell mobile companies for the provision of network services in that part of the country, in order for them to be able to communicate with people from other parts of the country in particular and the world at large.

He said they are still hoping for the interventions of the two mobile companies.

Criminals, he said, are also taking advantage of this situation. “Some people come to this chiefdom to undertake some activities under the pretext that they are sent by the government, only for us to later learn that they are criminals and not sent by government,” he explained, stressing that it would have been easy to crosscheck if we have mobile networks.

The chief furthered that road network in the Tambakha chiefdom is nothing to write home about.

“The only link this chiefdom has with other parts of the country is the Kabba-Ferry, which when faulty, cuts us off from Sierra Leone and leaves us with the only option of Guinea,” he said.

All the government projects in that part of the country, including the SABABU Education Project, are all incomplete, the chief explained.

During a field visit to the community school in Fintonia, this reporter noticed that all of the pupils sit on the floor to take classes.

The Section Chief, Pa Alimamy Bockarie Kamara, used the forum as an opportunity to call on the government and non-governmental organizations to come to their aid.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.