Patricia Brown MP of Kambia Central, Constituency 37 highlights development projects
With the trend of development projects taking place in all twelve districts of Sierra Leone under the “Agenda for Prosperity” of President Ernest Koroma, Kambia District is one of the beneficiaries of road construction, pipe-borne water and so many amenities that were destroyed during the 11-year civil war in the country. In an interview with Honorable Patricia Brown, M.P. of Kambia Central, Constituency 37 she enumerated many projects that have taken place in the district and in the pipeline for implementation.
JS: Honorable, Patricia Brown congratulations for being the first female M.P. representing Kambia Central Constituency 37. What are the major challenges facing your constituency in terms of development?
PB: Thank you very much for granting this interview. First and foremost, all the constituencies in Sierra Leone are faced with numerous challenges; however, getting to know and identify with the challenges is of paramount importance as representative of the people. Also, getting along with citizens and addressing challenges that are affecting them will help to find a solution to their problems. Through the efforts of President Dr. Ernest Koroma, Kambia citizens have seen development of a major highway that started from Gbaray junction to Kambia check point that has made life easier for citizens to transports their goods and wares to Freetown and its environs without too much constraints. Today, Kambia town has the best pipe-borne water supply in the entire country with an investment amounting to $8,000,000.00 and this water system is enjoyed in Rokupr which is also part of my constituency. Furthermore, UNIDO has also implemented a project that is processing Gari for export to neighboring countries like Guinea and the Gambia as a result; this project is providing jobs for the youth and citizens of Kambia as the production and packaging of the Gari product is done in Kambia town.
A vocational institution for training of youth in computer and other Information Technology (IT) services has been opened in Kambia town in order to help a lot of youth who are interested in pursuing careers in computer science and information technology. Also, new private girls secondary school has been opened which will cater to educating of our girls who are vulnerable to society. The solar street lights are in the process of been installed and by December of 2013 they will be completed. There are so many developmental projects in the pipeline in Kambia, very soon Bauxite will be explored in Kambia District and now Kambia town is proud to have a new guest house.
The Rebel war devastated Kambia town, are there any plans to restore Kambia to its past glory?
Indeed, plans are on the way to restore Kambia to its old glory. I recently had a meeting with the Paramount Chief and elders of Kambia town on the issue of underdeveloped plots and lands in Kambia and we agreed on exploring avenues for people to develop their lands or rebuilding their houses, lease them to developers or sell them if possible. Undertaking such ventures will bring a face lift to the town instead of letting underdeveloped houses and lands lie as a waste.
There are roads construction going on in Kambia town; can you give an update of progress thus far?
The roads construction in Kambia town are in progress, unfortunately the original contractors encountered some problems. However, the Chinese who had been doing the construction of roads in Port Loko district have been contracted to continue the constructions of the roads in Kambia town. Although, the rains in Sierra Leone are posing a problem for the speedy completion of the roads, by the dry season the Chinese contractors will accomplish their mission of completing the roads.
What plans do you have in place for citizens of Kambia to get involved in the development of your constituency?
There so many plans in place, first and foremost, I will call on citizens of Kambia abroad, in Sierra Leone and nonprofit organizations to contribute and participate in whatever way they can to ensure that basic amenities like housing, education, healthcare and agriculture are made available for the citizens. In just six months I have been in Parliament, I have ensured that the Paramount Chief’s compound is rehabilitated to a magnificent compound through the help of Kambia citizens abroad which was ruined during the civil war. I have also roofed a Mosque in Rokupr which had been under construction for 20 years, what is left now are windows and doors. So these are some of the areas that citizens abroad, in Sierra Leone and NGO’s could give a helping hand so that our dreams of seeing Kambia moved out of poverty and underdevelopment becomes a reality. Other plans we have in place is to make Barmoi Luma a marketing center because it is the crossroads to many townships and villages in Kambia and its environs. Also, we have laid the foundation for the construction of Youth Vocational Center in Kambia wherein youth will be trained in various skills that will help them secure employment or become self employed. Therefore, we are calling on anyone interested in this venture to contact me.
Looking at citizens of Kambia, the town and its environs have produced a lot of intellectuals and academicians who are contributing to the economies of foreign countries. Do you have plans to tap the resources of these diasporans towards the development of your constituency?
Indeed, I have encouraged people in Sierra Leone and abroad to help schools and institutions that cater to the wellbeing of citizens in Kambia. For example, on my arrival in the U.S. I spoke to Dr. Hamid Charm of Rochester, New York who is planning to retire from active service and returned home. I believe with the great knowledge and expertise he has he could be of great help to citizens of Kambia. We are also looking up to great sons and daughters of Kambia who can give to our citizens in so many different ways. With all the expertise and knowledge from the Diaspora and Sierra Leone, I believe Kambia will make a difference.
The need to have a College or University in Kambia is long overdue. Do you have plans during your tenure to implement such project?
Absolutely, plans are already in progress to implement such projects. I spoke to a lady who opened IAMTECH College in Freetown for the establishment of the same institution in Kambia and Rokupr. She agreed with my suggestion and plans are on the way for the implementation of such project. Also, Father Daniel Kamara, a citizen of Kambia District has proposed for the establishment of an extension of University of Makeni, UNIMAK in Kambia. At present we are encouraging students to take the UNIMAK exams for possible enrollment at the University.
Finally, Honorable Patricia Brown, what message do you have for Kambia citizens in the Diasporas towards the development of Kambia?
I must first of all thank all those who made it possible for me to succeed as M.P. We should know that Kambia is for all citizens of Kambia. We might leave Kambia but the legacy that we leave remains forever. Therefore, in whatever way you can contribute to ensure our district becomes viable that legacy that we leave will never be forgotten. I have just been six months in parliament, nevertheless my priority is to ensure our town and citizens become renowned and productive.
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