BY CASSANDRA GARBER J.P PRESIDENT KRIO DISƐNDANT YUNION
Throughout the ages it has been the universal convention for mankind to make RESOLUTIONS of positive intentions for himself, for family even for community at the dawn of a calendar year. Apply this perennial habit, we Freetonians wholeheartedly acclaim the leadership of the Municipality for initiating the goals of 2019 for us all in the TRANSFORM FREETOWN agenda.
The enthusiastic participation of the citizenry of Freetown at the formal LAUNCHING ceremony by no less a personality than the President of the country Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio on Thursday 24th January at the crowded MIATTA Conference Hall is evidence of the unanimous acceptance and endorsement of the mission of this 2019 Resolution, mooted by our very resourceful Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr.
There may be sceptics among us, the figurative “seeds that fall on the stony grounds” with short-lived endurance to press on with the challenges of the agenda.
As participatory STAKE-HOLDERS the membership of KRIO DESCENDANT YUNION pledge unwavering commitment to each of the four clusters of PRIORITIES so painstakingly spelt out in the literary hand out. The Initiatives listed under each section of the PRIORITIES have provided much food for thought which hopefully will be addressed by each team in the implementation process.
A section in the opening letter of the Mayor that “we are approaching the funding of TRANSFORM FREETOWN initiatives from various angles” emphasises the responsibility which rests on each and every citizen. At the same time, it is not out of place to proffer a few suggestions relevant to the cause of income acquiring. For those of us of the senior citizen generation, we recall the system during Colonial days whereby dogs had to be licensed by their owners. This was one sure source of revenue for the Municipality. Stray dogs roaming the streets were caught and disposal of. Perhaps over the years by default this administrative routine lapsed and become defunct. If revived there are advantages to gain. Apart from the obvious financial benefit, there is the area of employment of persons who will cover the duties of monitoring as well as the precautionary measures in combating health conditions like Rabies. When the populace understand that the friendly animal is forbidden to roam the streets, they will appreciate the instant revulsion at seeing pigs being let loose to roam the streets. This proposal is a modest feed-back to the initiative on page 10 NO 3 bullet 2 which reads “facilitate payments and introducing new options”
On page 26 the TARGET 2 of URBAN MOBILITY is an over whelming vote catching statement for which SLRA needs no campaigning structure for approval. It is however necessary to highlight the very obvious default to which the Authorities are turning a blind eye. This is the rampant behaviour of drivers of KEKE and OKADA who freely ignore the TRAFFIC Regulations of ONE WAY STREET as well as the CONTROL instructions by Traffic police officers at various crossroads-rightfully directing the Flow of traffic. The picture one gets is that these defaulting drivers are exempt from complying with the lawful rules. The statistics of fatal and of serious accidents-some resulting in permanent disability of the victims when researched should be a pointer to the Authorities that drastic actions to counter this wanton dangerous practice is overdue. The statement by SLRA page 26 INITIATIVE, bullet 2 “ENFORCING OF PENALTY POINT SYSTEM ALREADY IN THE LAW BOOKS” is self-indictment of NEGLIGENCE which can be immediately addressed without fear or favour.
Highlighting TOURISM FOCUS as an aspect of HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (ref TARGET page 18) is commendable projection for as stated the goal in view is “the creation of at least 4000 related jobs”
The contributive factors toward the achievement of this goal are familiar and well known to the functionaries in the Ministry of Tourism. The methodology for the implementation processes demands much determination and resourcefulness. It is relevant to point out that the physical appearances of the approach areas leading to these attractive venues of “heritage and touristic” values should not be an eyesore. The conditions of the ground terrain are not as forbidden to the eyes as the visual untidiness caused by the endless rows of dilapidating posters and banners on walls of perimeters of compound and on the very buildings themselves including imposing government office buildings. The importance of making a good first impression for our foreign guests especially the category of Tourists is essential. In this modern times of advanced electronic technology, the MEDIA offers very very effective medium for advertising and information purposes. Media Business entrepreneurs will surely welcome any official steps that forbid under penalty the abuse of sticking POSTERS for public view and the gross violation of “STICK NO BILLS” instructions meant to warn defaulters to desist from desecrating the scenery.
A visit to a few capital cities of the countries in the sub-region of West Africa-the sister territories of Sierra Leone will confirm the vast difference that exists when one takes one look at the outward physical appearances of the government buildings and their environs and the scenes of the locations in our capital Freetown say around our Youyi Buildings and environs and the Central Law Court Building.
It is time we disabuse our minds of the impression that TOURISM connotes the appeal that the beaches of Freetown Peninsular offers. Every aspect that is appealing and satisfying to the five senses of the normal healthy individual merits optimum attention.
The 2019 New Year’s Resolution endorsed by the inhabitants of Sierra Leone on Thursday 24th January at the Miatta Conference Hall directly in person, by proxy through our Honourable Parliamentarians at our Councillors would be assessed a success if as BOBBY STANDSFIELD, Economic Growth Team Leader DFID opined: –
“There is real energy and enthusiasm behind the ambitious TRANSFORM agenda. By working together, we can all play out part in making Freetown a better place to live and work”