October 2, 2022

The popular Freetown Tangains Festival,which is organized by Tangains Theatre and TBS annually at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown, has been marred with health and safety concerns.
According to a trader and booth owner, Madam Lovetta Sesay, traders had, during the planning meeting for the resumption of the festival,called on the organizers to make arrangements for ambulance services from the Sierra Leone Red Cross, as this will help in any unforeseen circumstances, but the organizers failed to heed to their call.
She told nightwatch that they are especially worried that, most of the electrical connections in the respective booths at the stadium were done by individuals with little or no experience in electrical installation. They averred that emergencies in this situation cannot be ruled out, especially so when a lot of fireworks is carried out at the stadium on a regular basis.
The story, the traders went on, is the same for the health and safety of people preparing and consuming food in the venue. Adequate preparations have not been made for toilets for people to urinate and defecate. People who visit the stadium urinate all over the place, because the toilets, opened to members of the public, are very small considering the huge crowd that visit the festival, especially on weekends.
This state of affairs have seen people preparing food; creating places within the stadium to wash and urinate while also using the same places to prepare food.
The organizers should have catered for mobile toilets, wherein people who visit would pay to use.
The festival has almost 500 booths, with each paying between Le1,500,000 toLe2,500,000, but is sad that much has not been done for the traders and people who visit the festival to enjoy themselves. The place has the potential to produce some health problems, probably after the festival.
The Ministry of Health, Tourism and Internal Affairs have not done anything; even when most of these issues affecting the people have to do with the respective ministries.
Sheka Sesay, an executive member of TBS, responded to the allegations, detailing their awareness of lack of ambulance facilities. However he said that they are unable to pay Le 21,000,000 (twenty one million leones) requested by the Sierra Leone Red Cross as fees for the provision of emergencies services at the stadium.
On the issue of toilets, Sheka Sesay noted that the stadium management has opened eight toilets for people visiting the festival.
He concluded by noting that they have brought a new electrical breaker, since the one at the national stadium is weak and cannot handle the current electrical load at the stadium.
As the festival is day 12, today, it is reasonably clear that the festival doesn’t consider the importance of Fire Force and Red Cross in handling any unforeseen emergencies at the stadium.
Mr. Carew, the Operations Manager Sierra Leone Red Cross, told this medium that he personally advised the organizers to offer incentives and pay for the ambulance and other services that the Red Cross will be offering throughout the festival, but they failed to comply and they, as an organization, have no option but to back out.