By Mohamed Massaquoi in Kono
Some 300 residents have been rendered homeless after heavy storm unroofed over 50 houses in three chiefdoms in Kono district, eastern province last Wednesday.
Kono is a diamondiferous district and most of its forests have been destroyed as a result of mining activities.
According to the Section Chief of Wordu town in Sandor chiefdom, Pa Fasuluku Tamba Karkamoe, eight houses were unroofed at Wordu town including a newly constructed church and the Saint Philip primary school. Another 25 dwelling houses were destroyed in a town called Koikuma, while over 30 houses suffered similar fate in Yomondu, thus leaving hundreds of residents homeless, he explained.
Chief Karkamoe told journalists that people whose houses were destroyed by the heavy storm had no alternative but to hibernate in unfinished houses with no doors and windows to protect them from rain and the cold wind at night.
“There is nothing I could do at the moment to salvage this ugly situation currently facing my people because things are also very tough for me,” Chief Karkamoe lamented, adding that he had twice brought the development to the attention of their Councilor in Ward 71, Ernest Wortey, but no response has been forthcoming. “This is not the first time we have faced such a disaster in Sandor chiefdom and the local authorities are doing nothing to assuage the people’s sufferings.”
Chief Karkamoe noted that their town is not a mining area and that his people are mostly engaged in small farming in rice, groundnut, cacao and coffee for their sustenance. He alleged that farmers in the community are not receiving any support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security which, according to him, withdrew a tractor given to them for agricultural purposes “simply because we cannot meet the high rental or purchase demands by the ministry”.
Eighty-two year old Madam Sia Sama, a victim of the storm disaster, told Concord Times that she was alone inside the house when the roof was blown-off by the dreaded storm.
“I can’t prevent my roof from being blown-off because of my age,” she said, pointing out that the house was built by her deceased husband for the family so many years ago. Her children, she lamented, are presently unemployed and therefore could not raise the required funds to repair the damage.