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Ebola 42 Days Zero Infection Competition! WHO Gets the Award? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Abass Kamara   
Friday, 16 January 2015 20:28

It is not accurate to call this an event or a competition because quite often there is tradition behind the fluctuation of results in almost every district with the exception of Pujehun, and others that have been systematically recorded for zero infection. The truth here is that the Pujehun district in the south has emerged victorious over the other districts with uninterrupted successful zero infection cases.

In the fight to beat Ebola it is but now fitting for other districts including Western Area to compete with the other districts, following the foot- steps of the Pujehun district. The competition talking about here is a race sets for Western Area, and the zero and non- zero districts excluding ‘Pujehun’, the pride of Wanjama.

In this fight, behavior change, denial (trangayase), negative cultural and traditional beliefs are the set targets goal for the championship.

Sitting before the fire, with a cup of palm wine on her lap, Mamusu TennehK angbai, a mentally retarded 35 year old woman fumed at the Western Urban/Rural area Ebola results during the Championship(All-District Relay Race), and suddenly found herself on the ground with the palm wine all over her head. Mamusu, like a newly hatched chicken stood up and remarked, “I had a mental projection that both the Western Area Urban and Rural arrived at a 45 days zero rate tie at the same hour, same day, and respectfully emerged 2nd position, followed by Bombali 3rd position, covering 43 days zero infection rate”.  She told her 10 year old daughter Anita who was busy preparing the fire for the next meal. “Mama, are you dreaming, this is a win for Bonthe district”.

“I tip Port Loko for the Second or Third position”, Martha Cole a survivor predicts. “But where are Koinadugu, Kailahun, Kenema, and Kono in this competition”? Sixteen ( 16) year old Dauda of Kamathor village replied, “I tip one of them for the 2nd position.

Momodu from Kambia sitting by the fire side, waiting to get his own share from the yam and goat soup, kept quiet.

The debate continues and after a while there was commotion, amid considerable noise as to why the argument about the pros and cons of who wins the competition.

In case you are fortunate to read this piece, let your prediction began to bubble inside your brain, and choose the winners for the 2nd and 3rd Ebola Zero Infection District Award.

SOMETHING AROUND FOR THE SECOND AND THIRD POSITIONS

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

Read more...

Business News

“Sierra Rutile is part of Sierra Leone’s economic growth…” -VP Foh

During a courtesy call on him by Management of Sierra Rutile Company, Honorable Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh said in Freetown, Tuesday, 26th May, that the Company is a major player in Sierra Leone’s economic growth trajectory.

According to Vice President Foh, Sierra Rutile is an old and weather tested company that has stood by Sierra Leone at all times, good or bad.

Speaking earlier, Alex B Kamara, a Director of the Company, said, the Company will continue  to do its utmost to contribute to the development of Sierra Leone.

Read more...

Media News

World Press Freedom Day 2015: The MFWA Calls for Professionalism, Gender Equality, and Digital Safety Awareness in the Media

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed globally on May 3 in celebration of the importance of press freedom and media independence and pluralism. Today, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the world in commemorating press freedom under this year’s theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.” In accordance with the 2015 WPFD theme, the MFWA calls for increased independent, quality reporting by the media; women’s enjoyment of free expression and participation in public life in and through the media; and awareness of digital safety for journalists.

 

Independent and Quality Media

Since last year, the MFWA has regrettably recorded increases in unprofessionalism by the media in West Africa. Decreases in independent and quality reporting negatively impact the public’s trust in the media and consequently hurt the media’s ability to act as a watchdog. Moreover, independent and quality reporting can play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability. Conversely, unprofessional conduct can facilitate violence and other abuses—especially during election periods, which several countries in West Africa enter this year. The MFWA looks forward to continuing to engage the media on increasing media independence and quality journalism.

 

Gender and Media

Although important strides have been made towards improving women’s participation in public life, obstacles remain to West African women’s ability to both express themselves and participate in governance in or through the media. In Ghana, which has exemplary levels of civil and political rights protections in West Africa, the MFWA found underrepresentation of women as featured individuals, discussants, and moderators and in the share of women’s issues discussed on radio programmes.

Gender balance and equality in a particular media platform’s reports and programmes indicate that it is readily accessible to women. Such gender representation can, in fact, empower women to use the media as a vehicle for seeking, receiving, and imparting information about issues in their community. In turn, this helps promote good and sustainable governance and development. Due to the importance of empowering women, the MFWA has made efforts to increase women’s involvement in and through the media in West Africa.

 

Digital Safety for Journalists

Journalists in West Africa are frequently targeted for their work: they have been brutalised and even killed, threatened, detained, and otherwise silenced both online and offline. In 2014, the MFWA recorded two incidents of digital rights violations—one in The Gambia and one in Nigeria—but due to the more hidden nature of online (as opposed to offline) violations, other unreported violations may have occurred. As internet penetration continues to rapidly grow in West Africa and the rest of the world, it is increasingly important for journalists to engage in digital safety practices to protect themselves from violations of their digital rights. The MFWA has always monitored and reported on safety of journalists, including digital rights violations, and it hopes to see more gains in both offline and internet freedoms in West Africa this year.

 

MFWA’s Recommendations

Given the challenges remaining to achieving independent and quality reporting, balance and equality in women’s representation and participation in and through the media, and effective digital safety measures for journalists, the MFWA makes the following recommendations:

 

To Journalists and Media Houses:

  • Exercise professionalism and high ethics in investigating and reporting.
  • Refrain from spreading indecent campaign language and hate speech through reporting and programming, especially during election periods.
  • Fully and equally integrate women into media programming and newsroom decision-making to achieve gender balance and equality in media representation.
  • Develop a document to help journalists conduct risk assessments related to digital safety.

 

To Civil Society:

  • Capacity-build journalists on standards of professionalism and ethics.
  • Capacity-build women to use the media to engage in public debates.
  • Capacity-build journalists on safety of journalists, particularly digital safety.

 

To Governments:

  • Support professional development of the media through effective frameworks and resource allocation. 
  • Ensure that security forces understand and respect and protect journalists’ rights.
- See more at: http://www.mfwa.org/news.php?article_ID=493#sthash.peBzbRhM.dpuf

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed globally on May 3 in celebration of the importance of press freedom and media independence and pluralism. Today, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the world in commemorating press freedom under this year’s theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.” In accordance with the 2015 WPFD theme, the MFWA calls for increased independent, quality reporting by the media; women’s enjoyment of free expression and participation in public life in and through the media; and awareness of digital safety for journalists.

 

Independent and Quality Media

Since last year, the MFWA has regrettably recorded increases in unprofessionalism by the media in West Africa. Decreases in independent and quality reporting negatively impact the public’s trust in the media and consequently hurt the media’s ability to act as a watchdog. Moreover, independent and quality reporting can play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability. Conversely, unprofessional conduct can facilitate violence and other abuses—especially during election periods, which several countries in West Africa enter this year. The MFWA looks forward to continuing to engage the media on increasing media independence and quality journalism.

 

Gender and Media

Although important strides have been made towards improving women’s participation in public life, obstacles remain to West African women’s ability to both express themselves and participate in governance in or through the media. In Ghana, which has exemplary levels of civil and political rights protections in West Africa, the MFWA found underrepresentation of women as featured individuals, discussants, and moderators and in the share of women’s issues discussed on radio programmes.

Gender balance and equality in a particular media platform’s reports and programmes indicate that it is readily accessible to women. Such gender representation can, in fact, empower women to use the media as a vehicle for seeking, receiving, and imparting information about issues in their community. In turn, this helps promote good and sustainable governance and development. Due to the importance of empowering women, the MFWA has made efforts to increase women’s involvement in and through the media in West Africa.

 

Digital Safety for Journalists

Journalists in West Africa are frequently targeted for their work: they have been brutalised and even killed, threatened, detained, and otherwise silenced both online and offline. In 2014, the MFWA recorded two incidents of digital rights violations—one in The Gambia and one in Nigeria—but due to the more hidden nature of online (as opposed to offline) violations, other unreported violations may have occurred. As internet penetration continues to rapidly grow in West Africa and the rest of the world, it is increasingly important for journalists to engage in digital safety practices to protect themselves from violations of their digital rights. The MFWA has always monitored and reported on safety of journalists, including digital rights violations, and it hopes to see more gains in both offline and internet freedoms in West Africa this year.

 

MFWA’s Recommendations

Given the challenges remaining to achieving independent and quality reporting, balance and equality in women’s representation and participation in and through the media, and effective digital safety measures for journalists, the MFWA makes the following recommendations:

 

To Journalists and Media Houses:

  • Exercise professionalism and high ethics in investigating and reporting.
  • Refrain from spreading indecent campaign language and hate speech through reporting and programming, especially during election periods.
  • Fully and equally integrate women into media programming and newsroom decision-making to achieve gender balance and equality in media representation.
  • Develop a document to help journalists conduct risk assessments related to digital safety.

 

To Civil Society:

  • Capacity-build journalists on standards of professionalism and ethics.
  • Capacity-build women to use the media to engage in public debates.
  • Capacity-build journalists on safety of journalists, particularly digital safety.

 

To Governments:

  • Support professional development of the media through effective frameworks and resource allocation. 
  • Ensure that security forces understand and respect and protect journalists’ rights.
- See more at: http://www.mfwa.org/news.php?article_ID=493#sthash.peBzbRhM.dpuf

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed globally on May 3 in celebration of the importance of press freedom and media independence and pluralism. Today, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the world in commemorating press freedom under this year’s theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.” In accordance with the 2015 WPFD theme, the MFWA calls for increased independent, quality reporting by the media; women’s enjoyment of free expression and participation in public life in and through the media; and awareness of digital safety for journalists.

 

Independent and Quality Media

Since last year, the MFWA has regrettably recorded increases in unprofessionalism by the media in West Africa. Decreases in independent and quality reporting negatively impact the public’s trust in the media and consequently hurt the media’s ability to act as a watchdog. Moreover, independent and quality reporting can play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability. Conversely, unprofessional conduct can facilitate violence and other abuses—especially during election periods, which several countries in West Africa enter this year. The MFWA looks forward to continuing to engage the media on increasing media independence and quality journalism.

 

Gender and Media

Although important strides have been made towards improving women’s participation in public life, obstacles remain to West African women’s ability to both express themselves and participate in governance in or through the media. In Ghana, which has exemplary levels of civil and political rights protections in West Africa, the MFWA found underrepresentation of women as featured individuals, discussants, and moderators and in the share of women’s issues discussed on radio programmes.

Gender balance and equality in a particular media platform’s reports and programmes indicate that it is readily accessible to women. Such gender representation can, in fact, empower women to use the media as a vehicle for seeking, receiving, and imparting information about issues in their community. In turn, this helps promote good and sustainable governance and development. Due to the importance of empowering women, the MFWA has made efforts to increase women’s involvement in and through the media in West Africa.

 

Digital Safety for Journalists

Journalists in West Africa are frequently targeted for their work: they have been brutalised and even killed, threatened, detained, and otherwise silenced both online and offline. In 2014, the MFWA recorded two incidents of digital rights violations—one in The Gambia and one in Nigeria—but due to the more hidden nature of online (as opposed to offline) violations, other unreported violations may have occurred. As internet penetration continues to rapidly grow in West Africa and the rest of the world, it is increasingly important for journalists to engage in digital safety practices to protect themselves from violations of their digital rights. The MFWA has always monitored and reported on safety of journalists, including digital rights violations, and it hopes to see more gains in both offline and internet freedoms in West Africa this year.

 

MFWA’s Recommendations

Given the challenges remaining to achieving independent and quality reporting, balance and equality in women’s representation and participation in and through the media, and effective digital safety measures for journalists, the MFWA makes the following recommendations:

 

To Journalists and Media Houses:

  • Exercise professionalism and high ethics in investigating and reporting.
  • Refrain from spreading indecent campaign language and hate speech through reporting and programming, especially during election periods.
  • Fully and equally integrate women into media programming and newsroom decision-making to achieve gender balance and equality in media representation.
  • Develop a document to help journalists conduct risk assessments related to digital safety.

 

To Civil Society:

  • Capacity-build journalists on standards of professionalism and ethics.
  • Capacity-build women to use the media to engage in public debates.
  • Capacity-build journalists on safety of journalists, particularly digital safety.

 

To Governments:

  • Support professional development of the media through effective frameworks and resource allocation. 
  • Ensure that security forces understand and respect and protect journalists’ rights.
- See more at: http://www.mfwa.org/news.php?article_ID=493#sthash.peBzbRhM.dpuf

World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed globally on May 3 in celebration of the importance of press freedom and media independence and pluralism.

Today, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the world in commemorating press freedom under this year’s theme: “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age.”

In accordance with the 2015 WPFD theme, the MFWA calls for increased independent, quality reporting by the media; women’s enjoyment of free expression and participation in public life in and through the media; and awareness of digital safety for journalists.

Read more...

Commentary

MORE TROUBLE FOR APC IN KAILAHUN

Key stakeholders of the APC in Kailahun have vowed to kick out Sahr Morkuwah and the APC from Kailahun, and return the district back to its traditional SLPP base.

  These key stakeholders this week registered their dismay about the off-hand manner in which they are being treated – especially for being made the laughing stock of both APC and non-APC supporters.

  “We are not wholly angry at the APC,” they said. “But we are angry at Sahr Morkuwah because of the assurances he gave us that the APC is a grateful party, and urging us all to work and vote for the party. Now look at how the party is treating us – as if we are trash.”

Read more...

View Point

NJALA UNIVERSITY IS A MESS

I visited Njala University two years back with the Parliamentary Education Committee, and still remember the camaraderie then between the staff and the deputy vice chancellor. Everyone was congratulating everyone, and is happy to have met the other.

  There was good reason to rejoice – Njala was then and still is, the leading university in Sierra Leone, and even the Education Committee was proud to be a part of the success story, and encouraged them to go for the gold.

But today, two years later, the situation has gone sour; everyone has reached for his sword and is threatening fire and slaughter – with none of them caring about the students caught in this useless crossfire.

Read more...

News - Press Release

Gambia:Dozens Held Incommunicado, ‘Disappeared’ ...Reveal Whereabouts of People Arrested After December Coup Attempt

(Dakar, May 27, 2015) –Gambian authorities have detained incommunicado,depriving them ofall contact with the outside world,dozens of friends and relatives of people accused of involvement in a coup attempt since January 2015, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. Those detained include women, elderly people, and a child, and many are believed to be in ill-health.

The government has refused to acknowledge the whereabouts or even the detentionof many of them, effectively holding them outside of the protection of the law. This amounts to enforced disappearance, aserious violation of international law. The Gambian government should urgently reveal their whereabouts and either charge them with a recognizable offense if there is sufficient evidence or immediately release them.

“Gambian authorities are ignoring basic human rights standards by detaining people incommunicado,raising grave concerns of enforced disappearance,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Because their whereabouts are unknown and necessary safeguards are not in place, they are at high risk of torture and other abuses.”

Read more...

Society -Local News

KONO DISTRICT HAS SPOKEN

In Sierra Leone politics and of course the country's economy, Kono District is integral and a major player. In the 2007 and 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections which brought President Ernest Bai Koroma and the All People's Congress (APC) to state governance, political dynamics in Kono changed drastically in favor of the APC.    

There has been a lot of political discussion in and out of the country following the removal of Chief Sam Sumana from the Vice Presidency by His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma. As the matter is currently sub judis , I am reframing from saying anything about the matter.  Suffice it to say that state governance goes on as usual, politics is ever so interesting and the All People's Congresses continues standing strongly United behind the Party Chairman and Leader, His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma.

There are many players in the APC, a Grass Roots Political Party that draws country wide support across Sierra Leone and amongst all the country's tribal groups. But of traditional and historical significance, Kono and the APC share many commonalities. To mention the 1967 General Elections and the ouster of the SLPP from state governance by the APC, an African FIRST for an Opposition Party to defeat a government in power, was the result of careful political planning and excellent collaboration. And Kono was pivotal to that wonderful success story. And a repeat of the same scenario was executed  in 2007 to usher into office H E President Ernest Bai Koroma as President of Sierra Leone. The rest is current politics still unfolding.

Read more...

Development

GAVI commits $1 million for upcoming immunisation campaign in Sierra Leone

Geneva, May 25, 015 (SLENA) - The GAVI Vaccine Alliance took the opportunity of African Ministers of Health attending the 68th World Health Assembly, to host its Anglophone Africa Constituency Meeting at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to the Constituency meeting, GAVI met with the Sierra Leone Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah where the organisation expressed satisfaction over the ongoing reforms in the Ministry, including the re-establishment of the Integrated Health Projects Administration Unit (IHPAU). In addition to GAVI, the re-establishment of IHPAU has the support of the World Bank, the Global Fund and other donors. IHPAU will have a dual role, building the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation as well as management of donor funds channelled through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for the Health Sector Recovery Plan, which emphasises Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (RMNCH).

GAVI is a long-time partner of Sierra Leone and the organisation is being credited with most of the gains the country has made over the years in the area of immunisation, including the country reaching immunisation coverage as high as 98% prior to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. It could be recalled that sometime in 2012/13, the relationship between the Health and Sanitation Ministry and GAVI reached a low ebb due to some unfortunate institutional lapses on the part of the Ministry. The institutional reforms taking place in the Ministry will restore partner confidence and is welcomed by all partners.

Read more...

Politics

GUMA BRIEFS COMMITTEE ON WATER RESOURCES

For the purpose of providing sustainable water supply to the residents of Freetown and its environs, the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources which is chaired by Hon. Sualiho M. Koroma few days ago summoned the management of GUMA Valley Water Company; charged with the exclusive responsibility of providing water for Freetown; at Committee Room 1 in Parliament to give an update on the status of their activities undertaken in 2014.

According to the Chairman, this was the first time the management of GUMA had met with the entire membership of the Committee since it was reconstituted in the third session of the fourth Parliament. He recalled that such engagements last year resulted in an oversight of GUMA’s existing facilities. He also assured the management of GUMA not to feel intimated as the Committee was only performing its oversight function; whose findings and recommendations would be tabled and debated in Parliament for necessary action. He furthered, that the briefing was not meant to witch-hunt anyone, but to sincerely discuss their status report; as MPs had a lot of water related issues in their constituencies in Freetown.

Read more...
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