Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 April 2022:
On Tuesday, President Bio thanked the government of China for donating 15 water bowers for the supply of water in the capital city and two fire engines for the Lungi International Airport, saying that his government has done more to expand the existing water supply infrastructure in the country and to make it more resilient.
“Both World Health Organisation and UNICEF have stated that my government has improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation over the last four years: 24% in the provinces; 6% in the Freetown area. They have also confirmed that my Government is making great progress on what they set out to do – increase access to potable water,” he said.
The President said that poor access to water affects children’s schooling and exposes them to social risks, adding that his government’s focus is on human capital development.
“To address this problem, my government has secured from the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, a total of 15 bowsers and 2 fire engines donated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The water bowsers will be used to enhance water service delivery to low-income communities in the Western Area,” he said.
But critics of the government and opposition parties say that after 61 years as an independent nation, Sierra Leone – a country endowed with natural resources and more than average rainfall a year for the continent, the government should not be going cap in hand begging other countries for assistance to provide safe, clean water for its people.
Minister of Water Resources, Philip Karimu Lansana, thanked the President for his caring leadership and “for making sure that water distribution to every household is possible”. He also thanked the government of the People’s Republic of China for their continued support to Sierra Leone.
Lansana also said that the water bowsers will help improve access to reliable water supply. The exponential increase in the population and rapid growth of Freetown he said, has challenged the provision of adequate water supply to all households in the city.
“These bowsers will add to the existing ones that will ameliorate the water situation in areas where there is inadequate or no network in Freetown. We are, therefore, very grateful to the government of the People’s Republic of China for this timely assistance,” he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang said the donation of the 15 water bowsers and two fire engines is meant to support and improve the water supply situation and to further enhance the safety of the Lungi International Airport.
“This donation is another vivid demonstration of the continued growth of China-Sierra Leone friendship and one of the concrete steps taken by China to support Sierra Leone’s development. They are gifts from the Chinese Government to the people of Sierra Leone for the Sixty-First Independence Anniversary Day,” he said.
Here are two contrasting views about what it meant about a government that knows it’s responsibilities to it’s people and a government that is elected on a clear mandate that promised us milk and honey but lack the necessary requisite to govern for the interest of all .One is a communist regime and the other is a so-called elected representatives of the people .The former, power belongs to an eight man members of a politico that makes decision for more than a billion people , and the latter a so-called fully functional democracy with checks and balances between the three arms of government with a population that can fit in a gaint football stadium. Well on paper that’s what our Constitution states .But in practice it is a one man show “.THE BIO SHOW “After the fires at Susan bay ,instead of sending fires engines to put out the fires , you have the spectacle of the armed Sierra Leone police as the first responders not to put out the fires,but to keep law and order in check in case victims of that tragic fire start to vent their anger against corrupt and irresponsible public officials that are meant to implement urban planning to stop such incidents happening in the first place.Then there was the tanker explosion in Wellington in which hundreds of young unemployed men lost their lives .This time it was the military and the police that were sent in not to put out the fires but to gather the dead and the walking injured . There was even reports of people stealing from the dead .
In terms of moral values you can’t sink deeper than that .Even our dead can’t escape the greed of their fellow Sierra Leoneans .Well for the Chinese embassy in Freetown ,they’ve witnessed enough of this macabre in there host country to prick their conscience that something needed to be done to stop them having recurring nightmares any time they think of Sierra Leone .In 2020 the Bio government spent hundreds of millions of dollars on SUVs for his corrupt ministers , so they will drive around on elevated vehicle that will stop them getting back pains from driving in pot hole filled roads .What is clear here they know how to look after their interest but not the interest of the people .When everyone around you stop telling you the truth you will think everyone around you is telling the truth .And that is the definition of a one man dictatorship .And this is where Bio surrounded by yes men finds himself .
And in that context, Bio is not scared of the people that voted him in power , the ones that keeps him awake at night are those people that are close to him .Given the level of anger against his government , that have now demonstrated they are incapable of running a bath never mind a country , he has to restore to the old dictator’s play book to cow the population by using the security forces as instruments of suppression by whatever means.So anyone who tries to point out the short sightedness of his government lack of actions on all fronts to at least honour one manifesto promise , we are treated to usual sound bites that people wants to make the country ungovernable.That universal premise is only shared by Bio and his supporters that can’t tell the difference between Rwanda and Sierra Leone .
The one who gives things is never the equal of the one who receives them, especially if it remains a wholly one-way affair. China’s so-called generosity should be seen for what it really is – that coun-try’s economic and moral ascendency in contrast to Sierra Leone’s seemingly incurable pauperism and moral inferiority.
This opposition is a classic case of two supposedly independent and sovereign nations whose relationship with each other, far from being an equipollent one between equals, is instead one of relative strength or weakness as the case may be. Sixty-first independence anniversary gifts appropriately symbolise that after many decades of being a politically independent country, Sierra Leoner remains a burden to others, starting off as the white man’s burden and then graduating to become what I call the white man’s and the Chinaman’s burden.
When will this syndrome of dependency and indignity die a natural death? This is the question President Bio and his ministers should be asking themselves and seeking practical answers to. Expressions of gratitude to the generous Chinese are rather demeaning. Particularly so when you consider that gifted with a relatively young and able-bodied population, our country is blessed at the same time with abundant resources. both on and below its soil. Were we to harness all these resources and put the proceeds from them to meaningful use, water bowsers and fire engines would be easily affordable.
Quite frankly, I am sick and tired of reading again and again about Chinese donations, British donations, American donations. It is time we said to ourselves that sixty-one years are more than enough for any self-respecting independent and sovereign nation to give up begging, to stop deploying this abomination as the central strategy of economic development. We should be celebrating our independence anniversaries with dignity.
The least every citizen can say to China is “Thank You”. Freetown which was the “Crown Colony” and the jewel and headquarter of all British West African countries has been reduced to a “Big Slum” within the past 11 years of the APC. Since former President Koroma proclaimed that “he will run the country as his personal business”, most of his supporters have flooded Freetown and overpopulating even environmental protection areas.
The Guma Valley dam which was built to supply limited amount of people is now supplying almost 1 million. Most of these political migrants have become lawless petty traders and Okada riders ( so-called business people) , and now cutting water pipelines around the city. Even most of the streets are now impassable due to streets trading. Private residential areas are now market places littered with trash which has made cleaning difficult.
President Bio has now thought it fit to work with what he has in his hands ( water bowser) rather than what he has in his mind (building a new dam) to alleviate the water supply problem. Due to politics , most of these people are potential APC voters , so it’s politically incorrect to even condemn their lawlessness in the city. Hopefully, the hardship that they are constantly complaining about , will eventually force them to return to their original homeland and make themselves useful in agriculture which will reduce hunger and increase their happiness.
Instead of dancing like a crazed animal for 15 bowzers, it would have been an even better outcome to contract to improve the water delivery infracture. Half measures are totally idiotic. Papa government this is an insult. Please go back to the drawing board. After 61 years, the people deserve better.
I have finally come to the conclusion that Sierra Leoneans suffer from a mental deficit. Congratulations to the Chinese government. While we are begging, ask for pens, panties, cups and toilet rolls because only a retard or an idiot goes begging for things that he is supposed to buy for himself.
Land reform act in parliament is not concerned with easing the population pressures but how to sell more land to socfin.
A.P.C/S.L.P..P are a bunch of incompetent and short-sighted politicians who have ruined this country.