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.
Andrew Kelli's syndicated column, "Ponder My Thoughts" returns with the challenge of Sierra Leonean cohesion, the capacity of Sierra Leonean society, and conflict management. Our leaders were divided on the eve of independence in 1961. Since then, every change in government has been accompanied by accusations by the new government that it inherited a broken country and economy. President Kabbah accused the NPRC of emptying the country’s coffers. President Koroma levied the same accusation against President Kabbah’s government. Enter President Bio-ditto. Accusations apart, what has become apparent over the past 11 years has been the division of the country along party lines and the government sharing the spoils to party supporters in a country where parties are roughly aligned along regional and tribal lines. The winning party would kick most heads of institutions out and in some cases, clear out whole institutions of senior staff and install their own supporters. The
The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security released its second Global Women, Peace and Security Index at United Nations Headquarters this week. The 2019 list ranks 167 countries on their progress on equality, well being, and empowerment in homes, communities, and societies. We looked specifically at how West African nations ranked by their overall index score. Below are the rankings with the best countries for inclusion, representation of government, employment, financial access, and education at the top. Countries lower down the list report higher levels of insecurity, intimate partner violence, and women experience more discrimination. Sierra Leone ranks among the worst countries for inclusion, justice, and security. Only one West African country features in the top 100. More than ten places below South Africa (66) and Zimbabwe (74) comes in Ghana (78), tied with Laos. Togo follows at (113), with Senegal (114) tied with Turkey; and then Benin (116). Gabo