From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone News : As President Koroma De- amalgamate the country... Sierra Leone now has 190 Chiefdoms and 16 Districts
By Emmanuel I. Kamara
Jul 31, 2017, 12:12

His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has on Saturday 29th July 2017, launched the de-amalgamation of chiefdoms in Sierra Leone.

 

The de-amalgamation process saw forty-one (41) chiefdoms added to the initial one hundred and forty-nine (149) chiefdoms, making a current figure of 190 chiefdoms across the country. These chiefdoms are now in sixteen (16) districts, with an additional of Karina and Falaba district to the initial fourteen (14) districts.

New Map of Sierra Leone Showing, Districts and Chiefdoms

 

The historic event which brought together religious leaders, government ministers, senior civil servants, Members of Parliament, paramount chiefs, representatives of UNDP and World Bank, and a huge number of supporters and well wishers took place at the University of Makeni (Unimak) Auditorium in Makeni City, Bombali District, Northern Province of the Republic of Sierra Leone, also saw regent chiefs being given temporary status.

 

In his keynote address, President Koroma described the occasion as a great moment not only for him but the nation. He considered the decision to de-amalgamate the chiefdoms and districts as the most key step/decision he has took in his capacity as president of Sierra Leone. President Koroma also described the de-amalgamation of chiefdoms as the software in our development process. He likened it to be equally important as the energy, road construction, health, education, agriculture sectors and more.

 

New Map of Sierra Leone Showing, Regions and Districts

 

President Koroma disclosed to his audience that in pre-colonial era, Sierra Leone had 217 chiefdoms and 13 districts, but that they were down-size by the British into 147 chiefdoms. He noted that, when he started the idea of the de-amalgamation process, some of his cabinet ministers were not supportive, likewise his APC senior comrades and seating paramount chiefs. “I continued in the engagement process and at one point, one paramount chief in Koinadugu district openly accused of reducing his authority. I cancelled the meeting and rescheduled it again and explained to them that if a chiefdom is amalgamated, that will derail development. Some three chiefdoms are amalgamated to one and that has led to the underdevelopment of those chiefdoms,” the President stated.

 

Addressing the newly appointed regent chiefs to serve in the newly de-amalgamated chiefdoms, President Koroma assured them that they now have the symbol of leadership to rule with fairness and expedite justice without favour. He cautioned them that their leadership is short while and will not last long as he will engage development partners to raise funds to speedily conduct those paramount chieftaincy elections soonest.


President Koroma making his statement during thede- amalgamation process

 

HE President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma pronounced to his audience that Falaba is now a district on its own and Mongor its district headquarter town and Karene as well a new district under the new dispensation. He continued that the North now has seven districts and is therefore divided into two regions, Northern Region comprising of Bombali, Tonkolili, Koinadugu and Falaba, with Makeni as its City; whilst Kambia, Port Loko, and Karene formed North-Western Region has Port Loko the New City.

 

In his remarks, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Representative, Samuel Doe assured President Ernest Koroma of their unfiltered support to his government and the people of Sierra Leone.

 

Banner of the people of Wara Wara Bafodia in Tonkolili District thanking President Koroma for the de- amalgamation process.

 

Similarly, the World Bank Country Representative, Parminder Brar, said when the British colonised Sierra Leone, the institution of paramount chieftaincy was established and the institution has come a long way. He salutes President Koroma for taken the bold step in the de-amalgamation of chiefdoms across the country as this will play a pivotal role in the development of the country. Parminder Brar stated “President Koroma need to be congratulated on two reasons; firstly, the Land Policy Act 2017, which has now given a woman the right to own a land in the country. Secondly, for the de-amalgamation of districts and chiefdoms that will ensure development in rural areas”.

 

The World Bank Country Representative disclosed that the World Bank would also double their support for the next three years to the Government of Sierra Leone.

 

Cross section of people inside the auditorium.

 

Meanwhile, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on the same date officially unveiled the New Map of Sierra Leone that contained 16 administrative districts and 190 chiefdoms. That separate event took place at the Independent Square, in Makeni City.

 

Local Government Minister handing over the new map of Sierra Leone to President Koroma

 

Supporters and well-wishers throng the UNIMAK to show support of the President.



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