Showing posts from 2017

Sierra Leone enlists Army, calls for 7 days of national mourning after worst disaster since Ebola

Sierra Leone's State House has proclaimed a seven-day National Mourning period, as the nation begins to come to terms with devastating floods and mud slides that have left hundreds of people dead and entire communities buried under mud. 
The week of mourning event has been organized around rescue and clean-up efforts, shored up by Army personnel activated by President Ernest Koroma in response to the humanitarian crisis.

Red Cross officials estimate that 600 people are still missing after heavy rains and flash flooding led to landslides in the west African nation of Sierra Leone on Monday.

More than 300 people are dead and local residents say they expect the death toll to continue to rise.

According to meteorologists,  the area has seen nearly 20 inches more rain than average over the last 30 days.

 UN in Sierra Leone‏ @UNSierraLeone  tweeted:

Private sector and #UN working together to map disaster area and predict risk of new landslides.

President Koroma: Tragedy challenges Sierra Leoneans to come together, help each other

President Ernest Koroma addressed his crisis-stricken nation on Monday in a moving speech acknowledging the devastation but urging calm after a day of flooding and landslides in Sierra Leone's capital. Here's a transcript of what he said followed by a raw video after the jump. 
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, our nation has once again been gripped by grief. Many of our compatriots have lost their lives, many more have been gravely injured and billions of Leones worth of property destroyed in the flooding and landslides that swept across some parts of our city.

I am very disturbed by this national tragedy and with a heavy heart, let me extend profound condolences to the bereaved families. This is not a tragedy for you alone; it is a tragedy for every Sierra Leonean because the people who have perished in this disaster are our compatriots. Every single family, every single ethnic group, every single region is either directly or indirectly affected by this disaster.

Fellow Sierra Leonean…

Audit Sierra Leone says agencies to account for billions of Leones

The Auditor General of Sierra Leone released a list Monday naming government agencies and institutions that have failed to submit their financial statement for the purpose of auditing.

The list includes the University of Sierra Leone, national stock exchange, and 10 bodies, including  the Small Arms Commission, which haven't submitted financial statements since their formation. "Having failed to submit their financial statements for auditing, these institutions should therefore collectively account for billions of Leones of public money they received as budgetary allocations/subventions," the press release said. 

           PUBLIC NOTICE
Freetown, Sierra Leone- 7th August 2017-

Section 119(2) of the 1991 Constitution mandates the Auditor General to audit the          Public Accounts of Sierra Leone and all public offices including the courts, the accounts of the centra…

The king is dead, long live the king!

Kama Dumbuya, a former Sierra Leone center forward who spent time with East End Lions, Blackpool, and Freetown United, football clubs, died Friday, June 16, 2017, the Sierra Leone Football Association announced.

Kama, whose flashy style, rugged looks, and charismatic personality left an indelible mark on west African football, passed away at Freetown's Connaught Hospital. Reports say he was in his 70's. The cause of death is unknown.

Considered the king of soccer in his heyday, Kama “made a whole pavilion lean at Brook fields Stadium,” wrote veteran sports writer Kabs Kanu.
He was “one of Africa’s greatest footballers –the legendary Sierra Leone center forward of the 1960s and 70s,” Kanu added.
In this undated photograph taken May 2017 in Freetown, former soccer administrator Mr. Crispin Webber embraces veteran football star Kama Dumbuya.

“If Kama Dumbuya [were] young in this age when European and American soccer thrive on the back of contributions from African players, ... l…


On June 16, 1976, children in Soweto took to the streets in protest to add to the outcry started by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Thambo Mbeki, and others in South Africa.
Frustrated with segregation, the students demanded  equal rights. Sadly, the demonstration resulted in the death of some 23 students. More than a hundred were injured.
Recognizing the gross violations, and the role played by these children in ending Apartheid, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union, ratified the AFRICAN CHARTER ON THE RIGHTS AND WELFARE OF THE CHILD.

They also called for a global observance of the day, marking the horrendous attack on peaceful school pupils demonstrating against the injustice of Apartheid in South Africa.

Also recognizing the day, the United Nations (UN) declared 1979 as the "International Year of the Child," which set in motion the working group that drafted the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF a CHILD (CRC) in order to give a new face to chil…

Smile With Us School names house after Sylvia Blyden

The Smile With Us Primary School has named a house after Dr. Sylvia. O. Blyden, Sierra Leone’s minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs.

The new house, launched in time for sports day, is a sub-unit of the school, where each student is allocated to one house as a group or a team.

The house is also using the moniker “Sia Kissi” and will be identified by its symbol color, pink.

Sia Kissi house celebrates Dr. Blyden’s “exceptional work and contribution towards the empowerment and development of the entire Kissi kingdom, most especially for Kissi women,” the school authorities said.

The Smile With Us School is attached to an orphanage run by Mary Sesay, founder of the charity called Smile With Us Sierra Leone.

The Smile With Us Orphanage is mainly for children who lost their parents during the Ebola virus epidemic in Sierra Leone in 2014, and other vulnerable children in the Koindu community of Kissi.

Koindu is a town in Kailahun District in the Eastern Province of Sierra Le…

Africa in the Human Development Index 2016


Ponder My Thoughts | Sierra Leone's Failing Educational System

Last week, Amnesty International West Africa suggested the bloodshed at recent student protests in Sierra Leone was caused by a  "heavy-handed response” by security forces. Students of Njala University reportedly started protesting against a lecturers' strike, which has left the college closed since October last year. Reports also said lecturers have been on strike due to non-payment of salaries by the government. Police said that the students did not obtain a permit for the protest and were burning tires and blocking roads.

While Amnesty International has called for an investigation and accountability through fair trials, a social commentaor in Sierra Leone looks at the issues through the prism of a failing educational system. Andrew Keili writes the weekly column, Ponder My Thoughts

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character -…

Ponder My Thoughts | Freetown: Much Too Free at 225

Freetown covers about 35 square miles and approximately 1.1 million people live within its land area. There are huge challenges with the transport system, solid waste management and sewage management. Andrew Keili, author of Ponder My Thoughts Volume 1, a collection of news analysis, opinion, and essays on the most talked-about topics in Sierra Leone, looks at what the city and the national government should do to ease the problems. 

The city of Freetown celebrated her 225th birthday on Saturday March 11 amidst much pomp at pageantry outside the Law Courts Building. The City Authorities and the celebration committee had collaborated well to put up a good show. 
Freetown Players did a good skit on the founding of the city, attributing the founding to Thomas Peters and his band of Nova Scotians who arrived in 1792. In various speeches by Mrs Cassandra Gerber (Matriarch of the Krio Descendants Union) representing the settlers/descendants, the Mayor and Vice President, the roles of Thomas…

Op/Ed Feedback: Amadu Massally & Patrick Muana

Mohamed Gibril Sesay’s op-ed ‘Freetown: The Story You Never Knew’ has gotten a lot of feedback from Sierra Leoneans online.
In this wrap-up, Sewa News brings you excerpted comments posted by Amadu Massally, who has travelled to sister communities in South Carolina, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Grenada; and Patrick Muana, who has taught rhetoric, literature, and Africana studies at colleges in Sierra Leone and in the United States.

Amadu is currently working on a John Kizell documentary with Joseph Opala — the historian most famous for the "Gullah Connection," which recognized the historical links between the people of Sierra Leone and the Gullah people of the Low Country region of South Carolina and Georgia in the United States — and Kevin Lowther, author of The African-American Odyssey of John Kizell.
According to Slavery and Remembrance, Kizell was born about 1760, and captured at the age of thirteen, during an attack on his uncle’s village. A slave-ship captain transported hi…