By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
Even though it can be contested by both its descendants and other Stakeholders, the general perception is that Lunsar – the Chiefdom Headquarter Town of Marampa is the springboard of the Ebola Virus to the other parts of Port Loko District. Sources say it was from Lunsar the Ebola Virus was catapulted to Kambia and other sister Districts in the North. But it was and still difficult for them to accept for a number of reasons. One of such reasons is the destructive nature of the virus which has the potential to kill within a short period. Perhaps the manner of death and prescribed method of burial for an Ebola Corpse remains another compelling reason for the denial rate in most Communities.
Surely, President Koroma and his Government would not be interested in any form of blame game at this particular time. As it is often been his clarion call, people should put aside all forms of differences and complement every other effort to make this fight a winnable one. According to Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Queen 11, the ultimate target as at the moment , is to stop the spread of the virus, put it under control and destroy all its sources.
It is in this direction that the Paramount Chief has resolved to champion the fight in his Chiefdom. He has since established a Chiefdom Health Committee which continues to conduct sensitisation campaigns in every part of the Chiefdom. He has even formed Task force Committees from Section to Village levels so as to ensure compliance of the Bye Laws. These were recently passed in Parliament and pronounced by His Excellency –President Ernest Bai Koroma following the declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency. The Paramount Chief was so much moved by what he perceived to have been the level of suffering for the Destitute in his Chiefdom that , he requested for help to the Management of the London Mining Company, the Union Trust Bank, the Women’s Congress of the All Peoples Congress Party and a number of able and well meaning individuals to salvage the situation.
At the distribution ceremony of these packages which attracted a lot of Blind People, Polios, Beggars, Street Children and the Aged, Paramount Chief Koblo Queen used the opportunity to outline the readiness of the Chiefdom in ensuring that the Ebola Virus is eliminated not only from his Chiefdom, but the District and Country as a whole. He said Marampa Chiefdom has now been sensitised and that quite a good number of Natives have who long opted to serve as volunteers, have now been trained and deployed to participate in the Ebola fight either as Contact Tracers or to form the Membership of the Burial Team.
Osman Lahai is the head of the Media Unit at the London Mining Company and the one who influenced the approval of the offer of the Company to the Locals as part of its Cooperate Social Responsibility to the Community. He said the Company had earlier donated 70 Million Leones to the Chiefdom Health Management Team in Lunsar, Presented 100 Bags of Rice, to Quarantined Homes in the Chiefdom, provided Personal Protection Equipments to Health Worker, as well as organising some Training Programmes for the Staff and workers of the St John of God Catholic Hospital. He was buttressed by the External Relations Superintendent –Ibrahim T Kabia [B T K ] who formally handed over the package for the Destitute to the Local Authorities. He said the Management of London Mining is of the fullest conviction that Ebola is real and is already in the Community claiming the lives of innocent and defenceless people. He therefore encouraged all to adhere to the rules for personal hygiene, avoid the traditional Shake of hands form of greetings and to immediately report any suspected case of Ebola.
In his contribution, the Coordinator of the Marampa Chiefdom Health Committee- Paul Santigie Sesay noted that the rate of denial has drastically reduced to about 20 percent as a result of the series of sensitisation campaigns they have continued to conduct in various parts of the Chiefdom. He praised the invaluable contributions of London Mining Company, Edmond Koroma, Commissioner Abdulai Kanu, Sampha Koroma, Elizabeth Mans and a host of others in alleviating the sufferings of the Destitute in their Community. Several other Stakeholders including Alhajie Sheku Conteh – the Youth representative in the Marampa Chiefdom Health Committee, the Secretary- Abdul O Turay [A O T] and the Chiefdom Speaker , expressed thanks and appreciation to all the Contributors for the timely intervention. They said the Chiefdom is optimistic that a lot of cases would be discovered during the 3 day period of lock down, which will immensely help Government to develop a better method through which the virus will be dismantled and kicked out of this Country. You can now have a look at some of the scenes at the distribution ceremony…….