“D gron dry” – the ground is dry – barren – lifeless

Puawui – Dr. Sama Banya: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 April 2019:

“The gron dry” is the lamentation of supporters of the ousted APC administration which one hears everywhere; they complain of the general economic hardship that has hit the country following the ouster of the Ernest Bai Koroma government.

And yet they left everything in a mess; the vault was practically empty as a result of the blatant kleptomaniac action of the leadership of the party whose primary objective appears to have been to scrape the bottom of the barrel. They stuff their bellies full and follow it up smashing the crockery.

The hapless supporters whose only benefit from the ten-year administration appears to have been to get stoned from habit forming drugs and poorly distilled alcohol drinks that were regularly given out to them before they headed almost hysterically to their parades and rallies to create violence and mayhem among their opponents.

At the end of the regime not only those miserable blind supporters, but everyone is now paying the price of selfishness and unbridled corruption.

As if to rub salt into the open wounds of their opponents, these same shameless leaders now scream about hardship. Worse still they expect Bio to fix the results of their ten years destruction in as many months.

President Bio’s present situation may be compared to that of former United States President Barack Obama who assumed the Presidency at the onset of the World economic crisis. Bio’s strategy and actions are almost a replica of what Obama said at the time, “Today, I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily and in a short span of time.”

That notwithstanding, Bio is determined to make life better for everyone irrespective of party affiliation, ideology and ethnicity. He is going about it gradually and methodically; no one and no amount of crying him down or discouraging him or fabricating stories about him will distract him.

Now let us turn our attention to the other and non-figurative but real situation of the “The gron dry.” The long dry spell in the western area that is tantamount to a severe drought.

Every time I look up the hills along the western peninsula I cannot help but wonder at the beauty and loveliness of our countryside with their beautifully constructed mansions creating a picturesque view as the land slopes down towards the sea.

There is a very important missing link; no more would Pedro da Cintra refer to us as the Lion Mountains. The lions have lost their mane. The land immediately surrounding our beautiful architectural structures is perched and dry.

The next set of rains is going to wash most of the surrounding soil into the sea. Yes, we will be the victims of serious and dangerous soil erosion that will leave the rocks and boulders unsupported and unprotected.

The soil from Mountain Cot, New England and now Leicester Peak will be washed into the ocean and in their wake lead to silting and destruction of our tourist attractions.

Much silting has already taken place along our harbour and ships coming into Port now require special pilots to steer them safely to the quay I am told that the original nautical maps are out of date because of the current situation.

All of this future catastrophe could and should be avoided by our taking preventive measures NOW.

The Environmental Foundation for Africa EFA, with its dynamic Founder and Executive Director Tommy Garret and his colleagues have spent TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, (like the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone CSSL) on creating awareness of these potential dangers.

They have done this through public education, through advocacy as well as poster campaigns. Sad to say it remained a daunting task and many times he and the rest of us engaged in experimental education have sometimes nearly given up in despair.

They have persevered because of the love of the only country that we have, Sierra Leone. EPA like CSSL have now got communities involved and more importantly they have open houses and school clubs because they believe that if tomorrow’s generation are caught early, they would begin to appreciate the need for environmental protection, it must begin at an early age and that is NOW.

Such young people will grow up as they continue to inculcate the need and practice of protecting their land, the wild life and everything in it. Otherwise all will be lost.

EPA headquarters is located in Banga Farm at the tip of the Western Area Peninsular Forests in Sussex. They have established a Learning Centre that is worth the 18 kilometres (Mile 13) drive from the centre of Freetown. Telephone 076 684832. Sierra Leone is our heritage and she needs our care and protection.

12 Comments

  1. Ked Abu,

    What the good old Dr. Banya has demonstrated in his article is not a blame game as you may have conceived. The Doctor is simply implying that you cannot understand the present if you do not understand the past. And that understanding the past does not only lead to understanding the present but to also preparing for the future.

    Accordingly, as we embark on rebuilding Sierra Leone, it will smack of immaturity and foolishness to ignore or sweep under the rug everything that happened under Ernest Koroma’s rule.

    “Our ignorance of the past is not a result of a lack of information but of indifference.” David Crabtree

    • My Dear Brother David Bangura, I am sure you might have seen H E The President’s Campaign Manifesto “The New Direction” coupled with the recently launched Medium Term National Development Plan “Education for Development”. These two main documents clearly explain the demand of citizenry and the desire and willingness of H.E. The President to serve in the interest of us Sierra Leoneans.

      Trust me, I am not against and will never be against “the good old Doctors” article, though as good citizens we’ve all got the responsibility to speak fact and truth to the seat of power, so as to clearly explain or put forward the situation of the ordernary people.

      Some have access to authority which a huge number of us Sierra Leoneans do not. So if the masses are using a slogan to informally communicate to the Presidency, we expect such to be acted upon so as to better understand why “D Gron Dry”. Except if you are not in the country at the moment. If you are, trust me you are currently experiencing “the dryness of the Gron”.

  2. The same old Puawui… You know what Dr. We as very young citizens are tired of your so-called blame games, and regular political divide. President Bio was largely voted in by us the very young citizenry of this our beloved Mama Salone, based on his manifesto (His Promises) titled ‘The New Direction’, which is a vivid reminder of the kind of so-called mess the country has been in over the past years, of which we need not to be reminded of by people like you.

    Had we not known, we would not have voted him (President Bio) into office. Nevertheless, We the very young ‘Salone Pikin Dem’ who voted our beloved president into office also have the responsibility to keep him on his toes so as to always inform him of what is happening at the grassroot, of which we believe through protocol, the President is mostly misinformed…hence the phrase ‘D Gron Dry’.

    This serves as our own very means of informal communication with the president ‘and to speak truth to authority’ has scored it’s goal. Seeing such an article from someone of your caliber, tells us that our beloved president by all chances heard our slogan from the less privileged ‘D Gron Dry’, which you sadly tried to drag readers attention from by blaming the past regime.

    Yes, the past regime might have done lots of mistakes during their ten years in office. But let me reminder you as a young voice that it is because of the many mistakes that we voted our beloved president in to fix things, as he promised in his New direction Manifesto and the Medium Term National Development Plan, as demanded by Sierra Leoneans to be implimented by the current Bio led government.

    What you need to be very careful of Dr., is the fact that some of us might have been very young but have read the books and articles of how the governance structure you served as Minister, kept playing the blame game on president Bio and his former NPRC regime for your failures.

    Let me tell you, some of us young Sierra Leoneans are currently positively learning from such articles, and will always do, but will never allow misleading messages from people like you to take this our beloved Mama Salone backwords. Yes ‘D Gron Dry’, and I know the current leadership will do something about it, no doubt.

  3. Hi Philip, I always reply to anyone referring to my comments with pleasure. Whether right or wrong, good or bad. But sometimes, I find it difficult to reply to someones’s criticism/comment like yours, about what I said. Especially when it is out of context and makes no sense in my view.

    To be honest, I don’t really know what you are talking about. From cut and paste to people coming from the North and North West. Will you please clarify to me what you are talking about? It seems to me that you are always out of context. You’ve done it again.

    Let me remind you once more about the same attitude. Do you remember the article – ‘Auditor General debunks government forensic report into alleged missing Billion’, dated 11/04/2019? Read your comment on that article and read the way I replied. I am still struggling to get a grip or understand you. Finally, I would like you to make your points clearly for us to understand. Believe me, you will get a good response from me.

  4. You’re absolutely right. Though I’m a Nigerian, I’ve spent some time in Sierra Leone and I understand the situation clearly. Interestingly the ruling party in Nigeria, also known as the APC is playing the same blame game instead of fulfilling their campaign promises.

  5. The new institutional structures the Bio government is putting in place if continued will surely help move our country forward. I’m not interested in day to day political prophecies but in structural reforms. Bio and his team should stay focused on their agenda, show political marturity (avoid confronting critics with anger, insult and sarcasm) and aggressively communicate with the electorates.

    It is crystal clear that things are changing for the better and no amount of pessimism would change that. I want this government to succeed because the PEOPLE of this country deserve it!! NGC would have been the perfect solution to our political, social and economic crisis but Bio and his team are presently doing their best.

  6. I have read Dr. Sama Banya’s article and did not see any flaws in his analysis. Dr. Banya’s argument is that the cry about “D Gron Dry” is coming mainly from APC supporters. Is that not the truth? Are the APC supporters not reaching for any straw that they can lay their hands on to discredit president Julius Maada Bio and his government?

    The veteran politician also went on to put the current problems facing Sierra Leone in their proper historical context – that if the shameless Ernest Bai Koroma government had not stolen all the funds that it could lay its hands on, D Gron would not have been dry.

    Dr. Banya is right. The political history of Sierra Leone has always highlighted the issue of bad governance and corruption on the part of the APC with the expectation that the SLPP will come in and clean up the mess.

  7. Banya Dr. Your article is fine though it seems like venting of anger on the erstwhile regime “The gron dry” is the lamentation of supporters of the ousted APC administration which one hears everywhere; they complain of the general economic hardship that has hit the country following the ouster of the Ernest Bai Koroma government. And yet they left everything in a mess”…… Fine! But it is not wrong for them to serve as a critic opposition right?

    If you are in the diaspora and you are not being tormented by your relatives for financial and/or other basic necessities, at home HAPPY ARE YOU. “DI GRUN DRY” is one of the TRUTHFUL SAYINGS, based on what is reflecting on the lives of the citizens in Sierra Leone. It is NEVER EVER A PRANK.

    Anyway, we are not expecting our learned elites, technocrats and so on Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora who have seen the light and still seem not to understand at all. They simply prefer partisanship to PATRIOTISM.

    Let us try and if we are, let us do more, in fulfiling the people’s expectations.

  8. Not many people will dispute what you have just outlined in your article Dr. Banya. Brilliant article. Where I disagree with many people including yourself is continuing to compare the mess – whichever the APC might have left for the present SLPP government to clean.

    In my view, we should all try to hold President Bio and the SLPP accountable for the promises they made to our country during their campaign till date. By doing so, the government will do its very best to progress. Comparing the mess the APC has left the country with or just opposing the negative things they did will not move the country further. As I have always said, it makes people just slack in executing their responsibilities by playing the blame game.

    President Bio and the SLPP are now running the country. They were tasked by the people in the past election to carry the country forward. They should just do that. If they don’t make effort in solving the problems of the country and give the people who voted for them hope and great expectations, then they will have to blame themselves in 2023.

    By continuing to blame the APC and doing nothing to correct the mess the APC left, they will also lose voters (especially new voters) who want to see progress. The APC and the other parties will be very happy with that in my view.

    President Bio and his SLPP government have done very well on ACCOUNTABILITY and CORRUPTION. No doubt about that. But there are many other areas where he and his government have to improve on.

    My advice is, let us all from now on start to hold President Bio and the SLPP government accountable for their promises. The President and his government have just began their second year in office. They should start to deliver and not play the blame game anymore. Time is running out. I hope people will agree with me.

    • Every one!!…en olman agri wit u Bra Matturi…
      Di sai wae bit mi tem mor na wae Dr Banya say APC sorportas dem dae krai se gron drai…..wala!… so sir, are you saying that the SLPP, NGC, C4C, PMDC supporters are all liking everything under the current situation?

      Well, Dr your analysis from the get go are flawed, unless your views are that of partisan politics. But if you are serious about reality check, devoid of partisan politics, I believe,you should be able to ascertain facts here.

      In my view, of the 7m population in that country, nearly 5m of them I believe are saying ‘di gron drai’..however, the reason why only APC supporters are the ones complaining about your said ‘dry grun’ is still what i keep pondering at….

    • Yes bro you are right. Its not about blaming. You have to do something about the people’s plight. Stop blaming. It is not about what your father has done, it is about what you have done. The past is already past, we are talking about the present. Do something that will show you are the best leader. Try to make the standard of living for the people in the country easy. It is not about blaming each other.

      From Adikalie Samura in Qatar. I am a supporter of SLPP.

    • Hello my dear brother, Sahr: I don’t think that there is anything wrong about the so-called “Blame Game”. Please go back and reflect on your RESEARCH LESSON. There is NO Credible research paper one can write without reflecting/referencing on the past. Except your are doing a CUT and PASTE research.

      Please let us be obligated to educate the Self-educated political supporters about the problems and issues faced with our economy and that [THE] Bio Administration will NOT fix it with propaganda. One thing I always disagree with the misguided politicians is there argument always made in favor of: The Government is responsible to feed the people. This argument is a total nonsense.

      I was expecting these guys to tell those people who mainly came from the North and North-West that have flooded the streets of Freetown to return and engage themselves in farming/and or agriculture – if you will… In doing so, perhaps will make the ground wet for all.

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