Showing posts from August, 2019

'Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might'

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” ― Saint Francis of Assisi T ime marches on. It doesn’t stop for you or me. I figure the way we try to hold back constant change is by marking the fruits of our labor. My mother, Hannah Iyatunde Deen, seen left in both life stage photos,  will be buried Wednesday, September 4, under a kapok tree in a village cemetery. She was a hard-working 81-year-old woman. During her lifetime, she served her family, communities, and the world, in any which way she could. In the beginning, she wanted to be a hospital social worker. A dream probably spurred on by the humanitarian crisis of the Second World War in colonial  Sierra Leone, and glass-eyed British missionaries at the Annie Walsh Memorial School of the 1950s. When my mother’s childhood dream job didn't work out, she got married and started a family. For

'Oh, the rain came down And the floods came up'

About a month ago, Freetown City Council's revenue team announced it was visiting properties in certain areas of the city to collect property rates. The team, made up of staff from the valuation, rates and finance departments, together with police and bailiffs, planned to visit the properties with a bank official to give residents the convenience of paying from the comfort of their homes and businesses. " Freetonians , don’t forget to honor your financial responsibilities towards our city, as FCC cannot #Transform" the mayor urged. 'But then the rain came down. And the floods came up. The rain came down. And the floods came up. The rain came down. And the floods came up.' Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of Freetown, described Thursday, August 15, as "a somber day for us at Council,"  as many of our residents were affected by flooding and four people lost their lives, she wrote on Facebook.  Earlier that day, the mayor had visited Wellington, one

Religious Pilgrimages are not the priority for Sierra Leone. It's Man-Made Disasters

In the second flash flooding to swamp Freetown, less than two years after a mudslide killed hundreds in Sierra Leone's capital, at least five people are dead. Torrential rain overwhelmed the city's drainage system, creating waterways that churned down streets, according to eyewitness reports posted in real-time on social media. " Report disasters as a result of today’s downpour to the FCC’s Disaster Response Team," Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr urged on her official Facebook page at 8:24 a.m. on Friday, August 2.  In stark contrast, authorities at State House made no reference to the disaster in its post on Saturday, August 3, only saying the president and vice president "bid farewell to about 900 Sierra Leoneans performing this year’s Islamic pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, Saudi Arabia." In 2015, floods killed 10 people and left thousands homeless. Two years later, flooding and mudslides in Freetown killed nearly 500 people, reported Clarenc

Rain, Rain, Won't Go Away in Freetown

It's heartbreaking to see the photos and raw videos again of rushing water flowing like rivers in Freetown’s city streets. I feel terrified just watching hillside streams, fed by the heavy August rain, roaring down--past sturdy brick walls and the thin, defenseless homes of the poor.  If only ordinary people knew just how much power they have to rein in this annual flooding that has killed hundreds over the past 10 years.  The poor are the same ones who will most enjoy the benefits of environmental relief.   Seems to me, the nation's politicians and the wealthy don't feel the effects as much their poorer neighbors, and they don't have the power to change much. If it rained more on Friday, August 2, 2019, than it did in the month of July in 2016, the rains aren’t going away.