THE EXODUS TO IRAQ

 

First_Name:  Cillaty
Last_Name:  Daboh
Address:  Wunde Gboyama
City:  Gboyama
State:  Sierra Leone/USA
Comments:  I am not against anyone looking for greener pastures niether do I fault  the govt for allowing the people to make choices. But this exodus of Sierra Loneans to Iraq of all places and for the paltry sum of $100.00/mo tells us that we may be headed for extinction if we are not already.

Some 100 Sierra Leonean nurses, lab technicians, caterers and plumbers were this
weekend flying to Iraq to join the growing number of west Africans being
contracted to perform the mundane tasks underpinning the occupation.

This week’s departures will bring to 440 the number of Sierra Leoneans currently
in Iraq under a contract signed by the Sierra Leone government with a private US
supply company.

The Labor Ministry’s overseas employment officer Ismael Kargbo declined to
reveal the name of the company but said the government had contracted a wage of
roughly 100 US dollars per month for each of the workers, plus perks such as
free international telephone calls.

The recruitment program is not confined to Iraq, Kargbo said, but also includes
the supply of blue-collar skilled workers to Jordan, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

Labor Minister Alpha Timbo said Nigeria, Ghana and Guinea were also supplying
recruits.

“I personally feel good about the venture and the recruits are happy to go and
work in a foreign country,” he said, noting there were still 2,000 people on the
waiting list, vying for fewer than 400 more spots.

“Everyone is eager to go as in its present stage, the Sierra Leone economy
cannot provide jobs for many people locally.”

Though 100 US dollars seems a paltry sum for braving the hazards of Iraq, where
another 22 Iraqis and two British security guards were killed on Saturday, the
fate of many in Sierra Leone is comparably dire.

Emerging from a decade of brutal civil war marked by the maiming and mutilation
and horrific rapes of thousands of civilians, Sierra Leone is the world’s least
developed country, with soaring unemployment, little infrastructure and extreme
poverty.

Aminata Sesay was one of many mothers who saw off their children on Saturday,
proud that her son Amadu Turay, 24, was among those chosen to work as a cleaner
in Iraq.

“I fully support my son’s decision to travel,” she told AFP. “I just need him to
call me when he arrives to tell me that things are good for him.”

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