- The beginning of
another working week in Sierra Leone - a working week
dedicated, like other weeks before and after to the
accumulation of wealth by all means necessary. A story
of how an uncaring and undemocratic regime, playing mere
lip service to the plight of the poor whose numbers
continue to be decimated by a disease that need not have
reached such alarming proportions had their lying and
equally dishonest and corrupt hired media outlets, the
internet flying toilets, stated things as they were
happening on the ground.
Sierra Leoneans lucky to have
escaped the ravages of the cholera epidemic now
decimating the poor and unconnected wake up this morning
not knowing just how many have been affected or indeed
succumbed to the ravages of the cholera onslaught as the
government plays opossum, ostrich head in sand,
pretending that cholera was not in Sierra Leone and that
the President's health programme was the best the world
has ever seen until the lying hyenas were forced to
admit that indeed the outbreak was for real and getting
desperate throwing the health care illusion just where
The UK Government, in
what can only be seen as a slap in the face for the
thieving cabal led by one Ernest Bai Koroma chipped in
using UK tax payers money to help a reckless and
uncaring government stem the rising tide of infections
and deaths from a cholera outbreak that need not
have taken such a devastating toll had the authorities
taken due care and diligence when the local media in
Sierra Leone started reporting the outbreak of the
disease including figures for the dead in a couple of districts.
The death toll is now past the
two hundred mark with those affected by the ravaging
disease said to be in their thousands. The latest report
released on 29th August by the Ministry of Health and
Sanitation showed eleven of the thirteen districts
including the Western Area where the capital is situated
have now been affected - a rather shameful and uncaring
picture that need not have got to this stage had smoke
and mirrors President Ernest Bai Koroma acknowledged
that the country was in the grips of a cholera outbreak.
The new figures which reporters on the ground say is a
"modest estimate" state that a total of 14, 521 cases
have been reported. These are reported cases and this
figure does not include the unreported numbers who are
not reached by the make-shift support systems that
government has been forced to implement - thanks to the
pressure put on it by the international community as
well as non-governmental organisations operating within
The official death toll,
according to the 29 August figures now stand at 243 -
and this is the official picture of deaths from reported
cases. Poor and unconnected Sierra Leoneans who have not
been reached or who live in areas not served by the new
emergency procedures, who do not even know that such a
system exists die off in pain and massive dehydration
after all traditional medications/treatment failed.
The uncaring attitude of the
government could best be discerned by the so-called
"Messages of the Day" rants carried on websites, on
radio and whatever means President Koroma's Task Force
could come up with. These "Messages of the Day" are
quite devoid of the realities on the ground where the
reach of the media has yet to be assessed and where
illiteracy rules the roost.
It is a message for the donor
community not quite aware of what obtains on the ground,
not aware of the economic stranglehold on the lives of
the ordinary Sierra Leonean in a country where the
present vultures are on a feeding frenzy trying to
recover from those fifteen years that their bloody maws
were kept away from the coffers of state (April 1992 -
2007). Kindly take a look at these cynical messages -
two example are below, if you will.
Always drink safe water (boiled or treated
with chlorine). Drinking water must be stored in a
clean covered container.
Where is the ordinary Sierra
Leonean going to get safe water when the outlets for the
poor are all polluted sources with government operatives
and those who can afford it diverting water trucks to
fill tanks in homes?
Where are the poor going to get
chlorine and do they know the concentration that is
needed to make water safe?
Where are the poor going to get
clean covered containers knowing that such luxuries are
well beyond the reach of the poor and unconnected?
This is a message aimed at making a
mockery of the plight of the poor. Kindly take a look at
this other cynical message.
Always wash hands with soap and safe water
after using the toilet, before eating, and after
caring for a sick person.
Where are the poor and unconnected going to get the
water to wash their hands?
Where are they going to get the soap and above all who
supervises what they eat and how they eat - that they
are doing things in a safe environment?
How this going to work in an environment where getting
one square meal a day is beyond the reach of many?
The latest we hear is that APC activists have been
supplied with a number of kits which they claim would be
for their constituencies. Of course these never got
there but have been diverted into "pharmacies" run by
them. We also hear that despite all the noise about
providing these health care measures for free, agents of
the greedy and uncaring in the form of nurses, porters,
drivers, all and sundry have been doing a roaring trade
selling off these kits, intravenous fluids, needles and
the necessary paraphernalia at exorbitant prices to the
desperate who would be willing to part with any and
everything just to stay alive.
And yet even as concerned citizens
expressed alarm at the rising tide of deaths and
afflictions, the APC-appointed ambassador to the United
States, one Kortu Bockarie Stevens got together his type
to celebrate on one pretext or the other - engorging,
wining and dancing the night away - demonstrating just
how uncaring the gang can be and showing all and sundry
that his appointment to the United States was to
represent the interests of the ruling party, the APC and
not the people of Sierra Leone he was sent there to
This callous and uncaring
attitude of Kortu Bockarie Stevens, a man who should
know better, a man who knows what it is like to be in
and out of power, a man with enough experience in the
diplomatic field to know how important timing is -
decided at the height of the cholera outbreak to
celebrate using one excuse or the other to have APC
party members engorge, dance and drink to their heart's
delight even as compatriots in the mother country die.
Is this action at such a time a reflection of what State
House could have instructed all persons carrying the
portfolio of Sierra Leone as could be found in the
sustained biased reporting of Sierra Leonean activities
by the APC-appointed so-called press attaches, civil
servants who have now made it a duty to become the
mouthpieces of the ruling APC?
The Presidential candidate of
the main opposition SLPP, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party
one Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio visited Europe a
while ago starting off in the United Kingdom where he
delivered a lecture at Chatham House, a think tank
institute. Not a word was published by the APC-appointed
"press attaches", nor was there a line about his
activities when he visited other European countries
including France and Belgium clearly demonstrating once
again that these press attaches, APC functionaries it
would seem, should not be paid from the country's
coffers and that the APC as a party should be footing
all their bills while performing their role as
mouthpieces of that party rather than for a country
called Sierra Leone in West Africa.