March 16, 2017
Thousands of women and girls in Koindu, Kissi Teng Chiefdom, were in a jubilant mood when the Minister of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, announced the lifting of ban on Sunday trading in Koindu International Market in order to provide women with the opportunity to engage in cross-border trading, as well as revamp the Koindu trading system.
She made the above pronouncement during her keynote address to mark post-dated celebrations of International Women’s Day and the reinstating of the Koindu International Market over the weekend.
In her statement, Dr. Blyden announced that subsequent to arrangements put in place by the Paramount Chief and traditional authorities of Kissi Teng Chiefdom,it has pleased the Government to lift the ban on Sunday Trading in Koindu “but only for those who had wares at the Koindu International Market structure built by Government since 2009.”
She added that prior to the Ebola crisis that necessitated a Government ban on Sunday trading, the once prosperous Koindu Town had Sundays as a day for international trading, while other neighboring areas had Fridays and Saturdays as theirs.
She maintained that the continued retention of a blanket ban on trading in Koindu has rendered the entire township and Kissi Teng chiefdom a serious disadvantage to the extent of depressing socio economic growth.
“Women are the most affected by this inability to conduct their Sunday trading with international neighbors,” she said.
Blyden told the huge crowd that President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was committed to empowering women and fostering business activities for rapid economic growth.
She assured her audience of the full cooperation of government to the further development of the Koindu International Market.
Dr. Blyden noted that after she was told about water crisis in the township, she quickly informed President Koroma who in turn noted that his plans for re-activating Koindu were so much that water crisis should not hinder those plans.
“When you were cleaning the market area, you told me about the problem you encountered with the modern constructed water-well, which was not functional. I conveyed that message to the President. Do you know what His Excellency told me? He said ‘Madam Minister you know the good things I have planned to do in Koindu, so will we as a government be tired of making sure the water system works? He then ordered me that I should repair the well in a week and solve the water problem,” Blyden recounted.
“With the pressure from the President, the Water problem here at the international market site was solved within four days. That shows the zeal President Koroma has for revitalising Koindu and the entire Kissi area.”
She assured the people of Koindu that President Koroma and his government were determined to make sure that Koindu takes back its former glory, which had seen the customs post there being second only to Freetown ports in terms of revenue generation.
“Government will find the money to help you restore Koindu because when Koindu is restored, everyone makes money including the government through customs duties,” she said.