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We Have No Reasons for Not Being as Prosperous as Qatar!

We Have No Reasons for Not Being as Prosperous as Qatar!

Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world! I arrived here in Doha this evening on transit after 14 hours of travel from Washington DC.Qatar has used its oil revenue to invest heavily in air transport, in tourism, commerce, hotel management, among others.

In my own native Sierra Leone, our minerals and abundant marine resources have brought us poverty, misery, underdevelopment, a brutal civil war and all kinds of preventable diseases that continue to claim lives unabated.

Here in Qatar, the average salary per month is $12,600 compared to poverty infested Salone where the average salary is $50 a month. Most workers in Sierra Leone can only live on their salaries for one week and the rest of the month is covered through cut ya put ya strategies!

The oil boom in Qatar reflects the standard of living of the people at all levels. They have adequate  access to all the basic services including a safe and clean environment.

All the existing streams and water points are protected to preserve the environment and to encourage the growth of wild life.

In Sierra Leone, children spend hours in search of water and people take showers in rivers, streams and in swamps. In Wellington, we have a stream called Bondo Watta where women bathe and another called Man Wattasai for men. There’s no iota of doubt that my country is still in the stone age!

In effect, unlike Qatar, our minerals and abundant marine resources don’t reflect our standard of living. Our people are hungry, poor and desperate as we saw in what became known as the Bomeh rotten chicken scandal.

Sierra Leone has failed in every human endeavour! Today, the country uses a worthless national currency that has further impoverished the people whose purchasing power has been seriously undermined by an endless inflation.

The much talked about bush roads being constructed by the Chinse are not worth talking about.

If as the head of your family you cannot feed your family and you ask someone to loan you, the persons brings the food,  cooking utensils and the person feeds your family after preparing the food, will you be able to brag as having the capacity to manage your family?

This is particularly ridiculous when the food is provided on a soft loan that will be repaid by your unborn great grand children.

I honestly don’t see the remarkable achievement the government has made through the ongoing Chinese road construction projects that will keep our nation heavily indebted in the next half century.

With all our iron ore, gold, diamonds, bauxite and marine resources,  we can’t put funds together to finance the construction of our roads!

What a shame on us as a nation!

Idrissa Conteh
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