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AML on railway safety tips

AML on railway safety tips

Corporate affairs has joined the social safety department with help from the public relations department of African Minerals (SL) Ltd to engage religious leaders, teachers, chiefs and other rural authorities on safety and hazards associated with railway operations.

A map of close to hundred villages was drawn up with rallying points clearly identified and agreed upon based on proximity.  These thirty-five rallying points, called centers, are each expected to bring together at least six representatives from between eight and nine villages to one large meeting where a safety sensitization is being organized.

The rail safety sensitization community meetings, which are being held since September, would run through to mid-October when the team of dedicated safety officers, corporate assistants and communications support staff is expected to have met all community representatives from all chiefdoms in the mines and railway areas.

The message reads:  “At crossing points you must stop, look, listen and you will stay alive.”  This simple message, around safety and hazards associated with railway operations and trains, supported by universally accepted safety measures is captured in videos and screened on a giant projector with vivid graphics, all of them self-explanatory.

A slogan developed by community people in areas covered so far is:  “LIFE IS ONE, LOOK AFTER IT.

This is part of AML’s comprehensive plans to complete the rail facilities ahead of full scale supply as scheduled. The message was short and could be easily translated into interesting local slangs by people living in villages along the company’s 200 kilometer long railway across the Tonkolili, Bombali and Port Loko districts, north of the country.

The meetings have been planned to be highly interactive so that suggestions and concerns raised by community people could be further discussed in ongoing planning and where necessary incorporated into subsequent strategies. Feedback  so far indicates that the message was simple to understand.

It also came out clearly that community people were disheartened by instances of their own people either involving in or condoning the pilfering of rail materials.

The cutting and thieving of railway clips, sleepers and tracks over the last three months could endanger safety, thereby causing train accidents if left unattended to.  The sad development has already cost the company a huge loss in terms of money, equipment, progress on schedule and general planning.

Recently AML issued an announcement after some unscrupulous persons developed the habit of cutting the rail facilities in the north of the country.

The company still views these unfortunate attacks, destruction and theft of its rail sleepers and tracks as a calculated attempt by some selfish people who have set out to cause serious setbacks to our efforts at completing the rail facilities as promised.

However, towns and paramount chiefs have promised to take the campaign further and to warn their subjects against any possible theft or damage of the rail facilities.

Tanu Jalloh

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