Right across Africa, it seems every disaster could either be prevented or better managed if appropriate plans were put in place by those in powers.
In response to the Sierra Leone disaster, AVRIL BUNTON-WILLIAMS delved into the causal factors and proffer immediate measures to relieve those affected.
OK, so there were warnings about mudslides and flooding but they were ignored. Freetown is a densely packed city built on a hilly peninsula. Heavy rains and flooding are common at this time of year, but yesterday’s disaster may well be the deadliest flooding in the recent history of our country. Deforestation is biting back. Better sanitation and drainage systems needed.
To quote brother Malcolm in a different slant: The most disrespected, neglected and unprotected people; are the people of Sierra Leone.
We understand the floods and mudslides were caused by nature or even a natural reaction to the way we have been treating the land. The environment will strike back. Yes, yesterday’s disaster COULD have been avoided. Inevitably, crisis & disasters will come, we must be prepared. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. IT IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT. Town Planning is non-existent. People are allowed to build just about anywhere without any proper geological tests. A poverty of Mind.
Our leaders are themselves building properties alongside illegal settlements, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO FORESIGHT AS TO THE DANGERS THEREIN.
ECONOMIC HIT MEN:
“Economic Hit Men” are the biggest mudslide in our country, this is the fundamental problem that has created further problems for us. We are far too rich to be so poor and we are far too poor for our leaders to be so rich. No more lame blame: We cannot point the finger at those living in the diaspora, urging them to return home to bring about change, whilst we allow those who have been elected to provide and protect, to stuff their own pockets and abnegate their responsibility and duty to the people, whilst in the very offices they are in charge of. The change starts right here, wherever you are in the world as a Sierra Leonean. Our thoughts towards ourselves and each other are the very means by which we become individually responsible, so as to become socially responsible. Human potential is amazing…our people have the capacity to create a country that is peaceful, a country that spreads kindness and love rather than hatred. If we believe it to be so, it will be our truth, and we CAN create it.