By Hassan Bruz
There is a semblance of truth in the saying that one is bound to err if he or she is too desperate for something. Similarly, there is the likelihood for a drowning person to rely on anything for salvation even if the thing in question is unreliable. The comparative study seemed to suggest that ignorance and or defiance in accepting simple and straightforward facts are contributing factors. As in the case of those who develop pleasure in beating up a dead horse, there are people who tend to forge ahead with matters even when they know such an undertaking is pointless.
The instances are habitual in Rural Settings where the standard of living is extremely difficult for most People. Manorkor – in Marampa Chiefdom, is a case in point. It is one of the Villages close to the Concession Areas of Marampa Mining Limited – the Company that Mines Iron Ore in the North West District of Port Loko. The Inhabitants are of the firm conviction that their Village is situated along the Concession Areas of the Mining Company and should equally benefit as any of those on the List. This was a similar belief used to be entertained by Professor Sheik Umar Kamarah who is now the Director for the Community Relations Department of the Marampa Mines Limited [MML].
The Professor had single-headedly championed several undertakings in protecting and promoting the interest of all the Inhabitants along the Concession Area with a particular reference to Manokor during his days of Activism Abroad. His efforts were based on the belief that Communities in his Native Home of Marampa Chiefdom had not commensurately benefited from the operations of Mining Companies. As an activist, Professor Kamarah was personate about the Flooding at Manorkor. He had to refrain upon the realization that Manorkor Village was never factored in the Survey carried out by the Government of Sierra Leone.
The Director further explained about the document which was signed by the Paramount Chief of Marampa and the then Manorkor Village Headman. ‘I personally took that Document to the Village for People to know that it was a done deal and there was no way I can progress further with the fight’ – Professor Sheik Umar Kamarah pointed out in a recent engagement with People from Manorkor.
The engagement was summoned at the Information Centre of the Company in the Marampa Chiefdom Town of Lunsar, following a report made to the Police by a cross-section of Stakeholders from Manorkor Village. Alpha Kargbo – the current Headman for Manorkor, accused Mining Companies operating at the Marampa Hills of unfair treatment. He said they are predominately Farmers by occupation who used to cultivate their Farms up to 3 times a year but that their farms have now been completely destroyed by the activities of Mining Companies. He cited this year’s Flooding, which has not only destroyed their Plantations but also rendered most Villages inaccessible. The Village Headman registered his outright disappointment in knowing that Manorkor was not factored in the List of Towns and Villages along the Concession Areas of the Mines.
The Submissions of Alpha Kargbo were buttressed by the Manorkor Youth Leader – Hassan Tarawali. He said their situation was so hopeless that they had to make an official report to the Police in Lunsar. The Youth Leader said their main concern was the refusal to gainful employment. He explained how they had expected certain benefits from the Management of the Marampa Mines Limited and wondered why they had been so much unfortunate. Shaka Turay – another Villager who outlined the desperation of their situation and pleaded with the Director for the Community Relations Department to visit their Locality so as to provide him with a thorough view of the prevailing situation at Manorkor.
In his contribution, the Support Officer at the Lunsar Police Division Assistant Superintendent Bah who deputised for the Local Unit Commander, said the People of Manorkor were very vulnerable and that Professor Sheik Umar Kamarah should see the need to help how they could be factored into the List of Towns and Villages that are on the Concession Areas. He observed that the immediate want of the Villagers was Relief Food Assistance as their Plantations had been destroyed by the Flood. The Police representative said they should pile pressure for a permanent solution to the problem of flooding. He concluded with a piece of advice for them to remain calm, peaceful and law-abiding.
In his remarks, the Community Relations Department Director said, it dismayed him to note that the Manorkor Village Headman was still making allegations that cannot be substantiated. He therefore emphasized the point that Manorkor was never captured and there is hardly any way for it to be enlisted as a Village on the Concession Areas of MML. Profession Sheik Umar Kamarah further explained how MML is a Responsible and Responsive Company which has the concerns of the Natives at heart. He observed that there is more flooding this time around than in previous years which has resulted in a lot of damages along the Concession Areas. Professor Kamarah said it is against that backdrop that the Company is in sympathy with
the concerns of the People of Marnorkor.
The Director of the Community Relations Department further explained how he recently assigned a Vehicle to take some Stakeholders around with a view to identifying Flood Prone Areas. He said the rationale was to seek a permanent solution to the issue of Flooding along the Concession Area, where a lot of damage was done to the Plantations of Farmers. Although Manorkor is not among the Names of Towns and Villages in the Concession Area, the Company is poised to have a permanent solution to the issue of Flooding. ‘Therefore, I want you to be partners in solving your problems. You can make a humble appeal to the accompany for assistance. Your request has to be based on humanitarian grounds and not on a disobedient manner and pointless claim of right’ – Professor Sheik Umar Kamarah reiterated. The Engagement ended with a promise by Professor Sheik Umar Kamarah that he would present the appeal of the Farmers and People of Manorkor for relief food assistance to the Management of the Marampa Mines Limited. Below are photos obtained during the