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Poor Road Network Affects Mattru Sand Miners

December 12, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai

poor road

Joseph Kallon is a sand miner in Mattru, the mainland of Bonthe district. He told Concord Times that sand mining is one of the major economic activities in the township, but that it has been seriously affected by poor road network.

Mattru is in Jong chiefdom, southern Sierra Leone. Majority of its inhabitants are engaged in fishing, wood logging and sand mining as means of survival. Miners do deposit sand they mine from the nearby rivers at the Mattru jetty.

Kallon, who was speaking to this medium last Friday, accused government of neglecting them especially in the area of road infrastructure.

“We used to realise enough money from sand mining. But due to the horrible condition of the road leading to Mattru our economic activities have been stagnated,” Kallon said.

Explaining the ordeals, he said sand is mined at a nearby river and that they use locally made canoes to transport it to the jetty.

“This activity has serious repercussion on us. We contract common cold and body pains. We want to abandon it but there is no better alternative,” he said.

Mohamed Shaka is an SSS IV pupil. He uses proceeds from sand mining to pay his school fees. He expressed frustration that vehicle owners from Bo town have refused to ply the road leading to Mattru because it is in a horrible state.

He said because they have not been getting customers to buy sand, most of them have opted to embark on cutting and selling firewood.

“We travel for many miles and use seven gallons of fuel on the outboard machines of the boats that we use to go and fetch firewood. We cut mangroves and other sticks at sea to sell. We are realising something appreciable because residents in Mattru are purchasing firewood from us,” he said.

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