NOVEMBER 25, 2014 By John Baimba Sesay in China
In the process of change, especially of attitudes and behavioral patterns, the will on the part of the people to accept plays a crucial role in its success or failure. Accepting could be one, but putting into practice what is required is something else.
In the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease, what is generally required is a change in attitude and behavior, and a readiness on the part of the people to put an end to those traditional values and beliefs that have been highlighted as aiding the spread of the virus. Practical instance being, in the typical African setting, people would rather play with the dead and wash it before burial in the name of giving lasting respect to it. This is a serious challenge in the fight against Ebola. What also is challenging is the preparedness to avoid our traditional custom of shaking hands while exchanging pleasantries with friends and families.
That said, I have continued to follow the activities of the presidency in relation to the fight against the EVD. In the last couple of weeks, the president has not taken a rest, literally. Updates from the hardworking Communications Unit at State House keep telling us how the President has been visiting district headquarter towns, having meetings with stakeholders, including Paramount Chiefs, all in a bid to putting an end to the virus. The President has demonstrated the will to move things ahead and he must be supported.
What should also be of priority to us all as Sierra Leoneans is to ensure the drive to prosperity which emanated from the change of trajectory few years ago is not diverted by the outbreak of the Ebola virus. The gains achieved in the last couple of years, especially following the successful implementation of the ‘Agenda for Change’, should not be allowed to be destroyed by the challenges brought by the Ebola disease.
In the last seven years, Sierra Leone has witnessed realistic commitment to her development agenda, given what the President and his team did in line with the change roadmap for country growth. Much was achieved in terms of building her infrastructure, as well as in fixing her economy. This is after the government took over a nation literally broken apart, with less done to make state institutions work in tandem with people’s expectations.
Take the NRA, which was less productive during its formative stage. But as we speak today, the revenue collection agency is not only performing per excellence, but tremendously helping with the country’s drive to a prosperous nation, with trillions now being collected by that body for government use.
Take also what was, in the first inning of this government, achieved in terms of shaping the country’s infrastructure. Much could today be said about what President Koroma and his government have achieved across the country in the area of infrastructure. But with these and a number of other success stories, came the EVD. It has in some way affected our development process. It has also affected our economy, but factually there is the will on the part of the President and government to see an end to the dreaded Ebola virus.
What we are sure of is that in the next couple of months, Sierra Leone will rise again with all her development programmes coming up. The trajectory that the President has taken for the growth of our beloved nation will not be destroyed.
We shall rise again and we shall continue with what we have been doing in the last dozens of months. The trajectory won’t change for it shall continue as planned by the government and people of Sierra Leone.
Hope there is, and the desire is well placed by all and sundry to bring into reality what was designed in the roadmap to a prosperous nation.