Alie Kabba Speaks about the devastating floods and its destruction of Freetown

Alie Kabba

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 August 2017 

With hundreds of our compatriots reported dead or missing, my heart cries out aloud for my country and our people. In the face of this devastating flood, let us come together, even as our tears are pouring down with blood-soaked raindrops.

Let us all endeavour to be a little kinder to those around us. Those suffering should assist those suffering more, and those suffering more need to look out for those suffering the most.

As we start to bury our dead and begin to repair our lives in the midst of this pouring sadness, we should also have the courage to assess our general situation with a serious eye to identifying and adopting effective  preventive measures.

It is not my intention to risk being misinterpreted as sounding “political”, but in the midst of this disaster one can not help but be true to the feelings of the people! So I make no apologies for refusing to shy away from expressing the frustration, anger and deep sadness that have enveloped the land we love.

“Political correctness” is a lame excuse when tragedies like this are happening to us. It is unacceptable for any government to be caught unawares or unprepared all the time. It is unconscionable for any government to act only when it is too late to save lives.

Season after season we are made to roll under the merciless onslaught of calamities that can actually be predicted and even prevented. Instead we stand helpless and hopeless as the result of the failure to act by those who are paid to act comes crushing us in a sudden fury of death and destruction.

There are many times when one feels like one is living in a country besieged, with the distinct air of a decaying slave dungeon, where many are left to perish in vain. Now is just one such harrowing time.

This should never be our living lot, my beloved Sierra Leoneans. Even by our low standards, the events unfolding right now in Sierra Leone are far too heart-twisting. Children, young girls and boys, the elderly, all being swept away like straw to their  death.

While I continue to nurse the hope that  very thorough  investigations would be conducted to determine what could have been done to shield the people from this horror, we should stop being passively reactive and start holding those in authority squarely accountable for the actions or in-actions that endanger the lives and welfare of the people.

May the precious souls of the dead rest in perfect peace. May all those who are currently grieving and the “permanent sufferers” of the land be meaningfully consoled.

May our nation rise to combat the torturing effects of this massive disaster, and may this be the end of our darkest curve straightening out to better days for all.

We will mourn our loss, and work to build a Sierra Leone that will be a shinning light on the hilltop of Africa.” (End)

Please give generously to the Freetown Flood Disaster Emergency Appeal to help the Freetown Flood Victims by clicking on this link:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/freetownflooddisasteremergencyappeal

2 Comments

  1. Alie Kabba cannot be tripped or wronged on this one. Everything is to the point.

    Indeed while we cry and mourn we should not take our eyes off what could have been done to placate the disaster which has befallen us. The Koroma administration is at the forefront this time, but accusations of poor planning, corruption, muddled thinking and wimpish behaviour should be equally apportioned between him and his predecessors, excepting Sir Milton and Sir Albert.

    Ten years is a long time for somebody to be in power and not make an impact on mitigating an environmental disaster that has been waiting to happen.

    Ernest Koroma should have known that nature has a monstrous way of exacting a huge price when fouled. This should have made him entirely stop the deforestation of not only sensitive areas in Freetown but the country as a whole, offer compensation to those who have homes or have started building homes in these areas, and come up with an alternative somewhere else.

    This can be done with professionally conducted proper planning. Even at this stage it can be done if Ernest Koroma has the will of character to effect it.

    He [Ernest Koroma] may well ask where the budget for such a project should come from. Since he always seems to have confusion written all over his face, I have a few suggestions:

    He has to ensure that the fixing of a single street light does not cost $250,000 anymore.

    All ghost teachers should be directed to their respective graves once more,something which his Education Minister Minkailu Bah,together with his doctorate degree, knows about.

    A portion of the taxes levied on the sale of the huge diamond found recently, should be diverted to the project. What has become of the diamond anyway; the silence is deafening.

    All foreign travels by the President and his ministers should end. That’s why we have foreign missions. If the President or a minister must travel the entire delegation must not exceed three people, and they must travel in the economy cabin.

    A thorough investigation should be launched by credible people to ensure that all our minerals being exported are not under-reported to reduce the dues which should go to the nation. I have no doubt that with the collusion of governmental officials the nation is losing millions of dollars annually through this unconscionable thievery, which Ernest cannot claim to be unaware of; or he is unpatriotic.

    This is extremely crucial in the face of what has befallen us. Donations are now pouring in from all over the world, which should amount to millions of dollars. Some of it should be set aside to help the victims of the tragedy. The rest should go to the relocation and rehousing of survivors.

    I beg you Ernest,in the name of the most Merciful, the Most benevolent Allah/God to ensure this time, that the donations do not end up as “kasankay” (money donated for the dead) in the pockets of the living in your administration, to repeat what happened to the Ebola funds.

    Even an audit report chronicling all the corruption and embezzlement which took place could not move you to action. That was exceedingly strange. Your then minister of communication, Alpha Kanu, who mistook Nigeria for Mecca by dumping pilgrims there, called the audit report a fallacy,among other things. How much more insulting can one be to the Auditor-general and the nation.

    Wake up Ernest. You still have a chance to score a late goal to help your weak presidency and salvage something.

  2. Other falling compatriots face unwarranted death due to natural disaster of flooding and mudsliding. What is disturbing here is the lack of structures which could have prevented or minimised this heavy loss to the poor of sierra Leone.

    It is devastating that as a country we constantly face these situations yet the government is always ill-prepared. It is sad that we can lose lives in such a callous manner. Someone needs to be held accountable.

    The ebola came and killed thousands of people and there were no meaningful enquiries; then came this flood and mudsliding. What is the government intending to do? We are still facing the prospect of more disasters without things in place.

    It’s about time the government starts treating its citizens like real human beings.

    Thanks Mr. Alie Kabba for pouring your heart into this. The genuineness in your statement will go a long way to impact on our people.

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