Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 February 2021:
Speaking in the southern provincial district of Pujehun last Friday, President Dr Julius Maada Bio said that in the next eighteen months his government will build and furnish a Junior and Senior Secondary School of Excellence exclusively for girls.
“It will cater for 300 pupils…It will be a full boarding school with state-of-the-art facilities. As it is a new secondary boarding school, we will plan for its future growth and expansion… We are building in a green zone to enhance the landscape, support the teaching of biology through maintaining the natural vegetation at the location, and keeping a land bank for future development,” he said.
The President noted that his government has so far granted full tuition waivers for all pupils at the Basic and Senior Secondary education level for all 326 approved schools that benefit from government financial support.
He added that 18,318 pupils are benefitting from school feeding, 415,866 students have received free teaching and learning materials and core textbooks; and two School buses have been provided to serve thousands of students in the district.
President Bio further stated that his government would continue to provide support for agriculture in all chiefdoms throughout the district. He said they are making available 200 hectares of new cocoa variety farms for 200 farmers in Galiness, Barry and Sorogbema chiefdoms in the 2020/2021 farming season.
“We are also developing 109 hectares of Inland Valley Swamp for rice cultivation in Dama, Gaura, Koya and Tonkia chiefdoms for 211 households in 2020/2021 farming season. The developed swamps will promote double-cropping per year with expected yield of three to four metric tons per hectare with improved seed rice variety,” he said.
Regarding infrastructure, the President said in addition to ongoing work, government would tar 3 km of township roads in Bandajuma Sowa and throughout the district. He said his government has funded 100 solar-powered boreholes with 15 standposts for each town to serve about 12,000 people in Pujehun Kanga Chiefdom, Masam Kpaka Potoru Barri and Zimmi Makpele chiefdoms.
The President was also taken on a conducted tour of the Socfin Agricultural Company’s oil palm plantation in Malen Chiefdom, where in 2019 a refinery was commissioned to process over 100 tons of crude palm oil per day, that is producing cooking oil, soap and margarine for the local market.
“Our continuing relationship with SOCFIN demonstrates our recognition that agro-based production and industries are critical to economic development and supportive of our core commitment to improving food security. I am also informed that SOCFIN supplies two local refineries in Freetown, and Sierra Leone has become a net exporter of palm oil. I am, therefore, happy to commission this important production factory,” he said.