Showing posts from June, 2021

Sierra Leone needs a national alliance for mental health

World Health Day was first celebrated on April 7, 1950. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), since then, the WHO has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern. Past themes include protecting health from climate change, road safety, and healthy environments for children. World Health Day 2009 focused on the safety of health facilities and the readiness of health workers who treat those affected by emergencies. I chose to focus on Sierra Leone's need for a national alliance for mental health. My op-ed was first published in The Patriotic Vanguard , 7 April 2009.  This weekend, the All Peoples Congress Party of North America held a fundraiser in Maryland. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a member of APC North America, but I planned to buy a ticket and support the event. Unfortunately, something came up at the last minute, and I did not make it. Still, I am rather curious to know which Sierra Leonean cause they

Sierra Leoneans think their government should stop plundering the Earth, do more on holding foreign companies accountable

Few weeks after President Julius Maada Bio was forced to deny the rumors that the Chinese were about to build a fish factory around the pristine Whale Bay and Black Johnson beach, the West African nation is making headlines again. On Tuesday,  a Sierra Leonean man employed by the China Kingho Mining Company, based in a northern district of Sierra Leone, had become a meme. The video of a fight between him and a Chinese ex-pat employed by the China Railway Seventh Group had been shared thousands of times on WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook. On Wednesday morning, a flurry of press releases began doing the rounds. First was a three-page statement from the China Railway Seventh Group (SL) Co., Ltd. or CRSG. "The conflict between a Chinese staff and local staff in the repair shop was an unexpected and isolated case which did not represent the behavior or attitude of the management of CRSG and Kingho. After the incident, the person in charge of CRSG has taken necessary measures against th

The Politics of Land Grabbing in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Tracey Marke's grandfather was a prominent lawyer. He owned property in Hamilton, Freetown, and his son, Tracey's father, worked hard as a businessman to become the most prominent landholder in Hamilton in the 1960s.   There was a stretch of wetlands in Hamilton called " Portoh " that was used by the community. This area was eventually grabbed by local politicians, depriving Hamilton villagers of valuable food planting land. "After learning about how Prince Harding and his wife Anne Marie had been trespassing, I got a fence erected to protect the land," Tracey wrote in March 2020 . "When Prince Harding and his wife realised what was happening, they went to my caretakers with thugs. They threatened to break down Josephine Soya-Bongay's fence.  I wasn't too worried about this threat as it would be impossible to traverse land belonging to Josephine to get to mine without destroying her fence or gates. "In March 2020, I was told that Mrs. Anne