The ultramodern clock tower was unveiled in Kenema this Saturday 3rd October amidst shower of blessing. The heavy rain did not stop the ceremony but instead made it much more interesting.
The Mayor of Kenema City, Thomas Taagbateh Karimu Baio, wanted a new clock tower in Kenema as a monument to a new mordern Kenema ready for development. The First Lady said her contribution will be to do what she can to raise money for the project. As a development oriented First Lady she contacted Africell and convinced them to embark on the project. She said the free education of the President is a blessing to the people of Sierra Leone. She was full of praise for the President for championing the fight against gender based violence and promoting human capital development of our women. First Lady Fatima Bio then thanked the Chief Minister and the Mayor for their strong supervisory role in ensuring the mission was accomplished.
Chief Executive Officer of Africel, the company paid for the construction work, Shadi Gerjawi, said that they were pleased to deliver on their promise to the people of Kenema by constructing the new and modern clock tower. He said that they were also committed to improving the livelihood of Sierra Leoneans through job creation.
Professor David John Francis the chairman of the occasion was full of gratitude to the First Lady for her unwavering support in ensuring the completion of the clock tower. He then introduced H. E. the President. In his speech the President said the Lord who made him President will also ensure he delivers on his promises. President said in Kenema presently:
1. School of Midwifery under construction in Kenema
2. Cabinet has approved a University in the East in Kenema
3. Aproved over 39Km of roads in Kenema, and they are starting immediately with 10km
4. For water distribution Kenema will have an independent pumping station
5. Constant power supply is also being worked on
6. Free education irrespective of social status
He will ensure Kenema has is what they duly deserve. Stating that the support from the people of Kenema is immeasurable and what cannot be quantified. President thanked the CEO of Africell Shadi Algerawi for providing the funds for the tower, the First Lady, the Chief Minister and the Mayor or the role they played in making the vision come true. He admonished the Mayor to ensure the tower is maintained. Then the President formally commissioned the “Maada Bio Clock Tower” and handed it over to the people of Kenema, saying this is a monument to greater things coming to the city of Kenema. HEMA Construction Company completed the project in four months according to a design agreed by all stakeholders in Kenema.
The First Lady and the president then visited the Kenema Government Hospital to continue the donation of food items and medical supplies, just after she visited the 34 military hospitals in Freetown for the same purpose.
Welcoming the President and First Lady Dr. Dwight the District Medical Officer (DMO) Kenema district Said they are very grateful to have the president and First Lady in the district. Mr. Dwight said the health sector in Kenema district is one of the most establish amidst all challenges, saying that they have 2 establish government hospital and 124 establish health centers within the district. He said as a district they have been doing well even in the fight against COVID 19 and has contributed significantly when it Comes to lab testing for COVID 19 having one of the best Lab in the sub-region, which also does test for Lassa fever and Ebola, he said the health sector in Kenema district has been serving the entire south-Eastern region, all this being possible because of the Government’s support.
The First Lady of republic of Sierra Leone Madam Fatima Maada Bio in her statement said she knows that in this new dispensation, the donated items will be diligently utilised, she also stated that the midwifery school building is ongoing and very soon the President will be in kenema again to commission it. Thanking the health workers the first Lady said they are doing a job that cannot be paid for, but it is service to humanity which they are doing diligently. The first Lady also note that she is impressed to witness their effort as it is now 40 days Kenema has not recorded a single case of COVID 19 which she said is a great achievement. Her excellency Madam Fatima Bio ended by saying that COVID 19 did not ravage our country because the President and his Government took effective pre-emptive action in dealing with the virus.
His excellency President Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio in his statement said what they are doing in Kenema is nothing new, they have been contributing to the health and welfare of people before coming to governance. He said the first Lady had been doing so many things in helping the government and this is a typical example of her hard work, adding that the food basket and many other activities fall under this umbrella. The president also stated that he believes that when God lifts you up, you should help others in need, he went on to state that most of the First Lady’s donation is put together by the Julius Maada Bio women’s wing and Associates JMBWA. “Paopa-Salone-4-Betteh is a process and will not happen in one day” he stated. President Bio furthered, today’s donation is from the heart of giving in addition to the many plans the government has in place. He emphasises that today’s donation is not a donation by the Government, but from the hard work of the First Lady and the JMB women’s wing and associate.
He spoke about increase in Nurses salaries, and the government giving out more “pin codes” and the less spoken about special payment to emergency staff, not to mention the provision of uniforms. He said it’s important to also note that arrears in their salaries is almost a thing of the past . President Bio appealed to the health workers saying that government will cannot afford to provide everything to make them function perfectly, but reminded them that they owe an obligation to God to make sure the patients under their supervision has the most professional compassionate treatment.
Strategic Communications Unit
Office of the First Lady