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.