…Says SLUBOA President
January 22, 2018 By Joseph S. Margai
President of the Sierra Leone United Boats Owners Association (SLUBOA), Paramount Chief (P.C) Bai Shebora Lion II, has warned people who are in the habit of banking seabed to construct houses and other make-shift structures to desist from doing so, because the act has the tendency to cause flooding.
P.C Bai Shebora Lion II, a paramount chief of Mambolo Chiefdom in Kambia District, was speaking to this medium last Thursday in Freetown, where he said the situation now at Susan’s Bay, which is a slum community in Freetown, poses a threat of imminent flooding.
According to him, the 1964 Port Act made provision for the construction of dwelling houses or any activity to take place 120 metres away from the seabed, but noted that what obtains now at Susan’s Bay is that people construct houses one metre away from the seabed.
The traditional authority said when someone suppresses the free-flow of water from the riverbed, the impact would be negative. He said the heaps of garbage have grossly affected the structure of the environment.
“Providing sea transportation requires a friendly environment. The problem we are also having at Susan’s Bay is that residents have been in the habit of dumping wastes into the sea. This action has negative environmental impact. In fact, the garbage prevents the safe landing of boats which seriously affects boat owners,” he said.
He said the wastes are driven to other coastal communities in the country and pose serious health hazards.
“That is why we have been getting cases of cholera, diarrhea, and other diseases. Mosquitoes also breed in those dumpsites and if they bite people, there is the tendency that they would be infected with malaria parasite,” he said.
Started operating at Susan’s Bay since 1992, P.C Bai Shebora Lion II, said their activities are supervised by the Sierra Leone Ports Authority, the Maritime Administration, and the Ministry of Transport and Aviation.
He boasted that no one would eliminate SLUBOA from operating at any wharf because wharf is always a landing site for local and international boats, and that their activities are to ensure that boats land safely with goods and passengers.
Asked about the strength of SLUBOA’s membership, the traditional authority said they have 3,000 members, adding that they operate in seven districts of Sierra Leone including Pujehun, Bonthe, Moyamba, Kambia, Port Loko and Western Rural and Urban Districts.
“We are only collecting association dues which are very minimal because we don’t want to heap financial burden on our membership. Most of the proceeds of boat operations are going to the individual owners but the National Revenue Authority (NRA) collect taxes from importers,” he said.