Lands minister Senesie says he is determined to protect state land and forest reserves

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 March 2021:

On Tuesday, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Lands, Housing and Country Planning, Dr. Turad Senesie visited the Mount Sugar Loaf Community, where a major landslide caused by heavy rains and soil erosion in 2017 killed over a thousand people, most of whom where children sleeping in their beds.

Speaking to residents and community stakeholders the minister emphasised the need to preserve and protect state land and forest reserves.

The Lands Minister was accompanied by his colleague Minister in the Ministry of Environment and senior management staff of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministries of Environment, and Lands, Housing and Country Planning.

During the community meeting, it was exposed that certain community members are conniving with strangers to encroach on State Lands and engage in forest degradation activities.

Minister Turad Senesie sounded a stern warning for perpetrators to desist from such illegal and disastrous ventures. He said that defaulters will be subjected to the full force of the law.

According to the minister, consultations and negotiations will always be the first approach ahead of the implementation of the tough laws that protect State land, the environment, lives and properties.

“No one should take advantage of the human face governance approach of the new direction government as the law will fall heavily on anyone who engages on illegal activities,” he cautioned.

He called on the community youth to take responsibility and protect their community from encroachers, noting that they should not allow illegal human activities to endanger their lives and properties.

The Minister of the Environment, Prof. Foday Moriba Jaward reminded the community that the government is concerned about the rise in negative human activities that are threatening the lives and properties of citizens.

It is because of the seriousness the government attaches to human and environmental safety that an inter-ministerial committee was set up to preserve and protect the environment, the minister said.

The inter-ministerial committee is comprised of the Ministries of Environment, Lands, Housing and Country Planning, Water Resources, Internal Affairs, Tourism, Defence and Local Government.

According to the Environment Minister, the government will ensure the use of every legal authority to safeguard the environment.

Residents said they will collaborate with the government to ensure illegal activities in the Mount Sugar Loaf community will become a thing of the past.

2 Comments

  1. I hope this lands minister implement his programme of land reform equitably and transparently. On the environment, it is encouraging to hear that one of his stated objectives is to try and protect the environment. Sierra Leone is sitting on an environmental time bomb, due to deforestation. And it is one of the major environmental degradation that affect small farmers, causes flooding and in the long term damage to biodiversity. The 2017 Freetown flooding can all be traced to deforestation of the Freetown peninsula. And one of the major contributory factor is the unregulated timber trade, and the criminal activities of loggers that can be seen all over the country. The government needs to take urgent action.

    In some places in the North, its known for Guinean national crossing the boarders, and falling our trees and take them back across to Guinea, whilst our custom officers look the other way. Our country can’t carry on like this. Not long ago Bio was taking part in a tree planting ceremony. The irony of that publicity stunt is, we know his government is doing little to protect our rain forest. We hope this new minister is not just filled with words but real actions.

  2. BLA,BLA BLA….all we are hearing from this inadequate government is empty rhetoric. Dr Senessie you don’t need to keep on talking because no one is ready to listen to a government that has failed the people miserably – LET YOUR RESULTS SPEAK FOR YOU. The longest journey always begins with the first step and in order to lift a heavy load one must first grab a firm hold of it. Firstly, you would need to identify the problems and challenges your ministry is facing IDENTIFY. Secondly, with the help of your team, start the process of creating sustainable solutions in an atmosphere of mutual understanding with your subordinates – CREATE. Thirdly, comes the arduous process of experimentation – Putting to practice the solutions you have devised in order to provide answers to the problems your ministry is confronted with; Then wait and see if they are effective and workable – EXPERIMENTATION.

    And lastly carefully assess and adjust your GAME PLAN for success accordingly so that you will be able to achieve precise, effective and absolute results – FINE TUNING. See – Dr Senessie you’ve got to have a plan – not just any kind of ‘slapdash ‘plan but an effective, sustainable one. In that esteemed office you are holding, ‘Shoddy’ planning will not suffice. Again, let me be frank with you sir, you must begin by tackling the little problems and familiarizing people about your governments objectives and why it would be in their best interests to jump on board your SHIP OF PROGRESS that’s already on its way to long-lasting security and prosperity.(lol)

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