Anthony Kamara Jnr: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 March 2020:
The numbers coming in from around the world are daunting. Reading the news is frightening. Even worse, are the disturbing pictures we see on TV about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic around the world.
As the world careens into another week and numbers increase in Africa, in Sierra Leone, one Member of Parliament is at work doing his part in sensitizing his community as the world turns upside-down.
Accompanied by all the councillors of the four wards in his Constituency, Hon. Kandeh Yumkella of Constituency 062 – Samu Chiefdom in Kambia District, engaged the Paramount Chief, section chiefs, elders and youth leaders in small groups to enlighten them about the COVID-19 disease ravaging the world, the State of Public Health Emergency in the country, and the actions each individual MUST take to prevent the spread of the virus including hand washing, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.
Over the last two days, the Samu Chiefdom MP has toured several border crossing points with Guinea along the Mapotolon-Bubuya Road. At each point, he and the councillors presented buckets, chlorine, soap and other materials to the communities.
Reports already indicate that Guinea has 8 new cases bringing the country’s total to 17.
The elders and security personnel requested support from government to cover the remaining 12 crossing points which remain unmanned.
Based on their experience from the Ebola epidemic, the section chiefs and elders stressed the critical need to set up Taskforces of gallant youths to complement the thinly spread military personnel.
The communities along the border seek support to incentivize and facilitate the establishment of these task forces.
They expressed serious concerns about the remaining unmanned areas including river crossing points, the lack of thermometers and other supplies.
Hon. Yumkella also used the opportunity to inaugurate the recently rehabilitated solar water supply project in Moribaya which provides drinking water for almost 10,000 many of whom live in the Islands of Yeliboya, Kortimor, Muabul and Kirigba.
Over 50 water wells have also been dug in various communities of Constituency 062 over the last two years with the support of the Water is Life Sierra Leone Evangelical Mission. The event was attended by less than 50 people to comply with government rules.
In his role as MP, Hon. Yumkella instigated the parliamentary hearings on COVID-19. It is therefore not a surprise to see him in action, walking the talk in the frontlines of his vulnerable community.
At the height of Ebola, while still a senior UN official, Yumkella visited Sierra Leone three times raising global awareness of the epidemic on CNN, BBC, Sky News, being an advocate at global meetings around the world and helping to raise funds.
We can only wish Hon. Yumkella well as he continues to support national efforts to keep citizens in Sierra Leone informed about the potential catastrophe lurking around the continent, should predictions become a reality.