In solidarity with Black Johnson Community!
Recent pronouncements by the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources and HE the President, have confirmed that the Government, through the Ministry is well disposed to the Chinese-funded project of building a Fish Harbour at Black Johnson, a coastal Community along the Freetown Peninsular.
The main thrust of Government is revenue generation and employment for locals, while members of the Community detest the investment against the backdrop of dire environmental hazards and disfiguration of the community.
The Government maintains that the area is appropriate for such an infrastructure; deep enough for big fishing vessels to anchor and operate. However, no results of environmental impact study have been done and published to justify their claim.
In fact, and rather contradictory, is the pronouncement by the Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that the Chinese company had hired a consultant to conduct the study; and hope to receive the report once the consultant concludes the work. The EPA owes it to Sierra Leoneans to protect the environment, rather than leaguing with rogue investors to conduct operations that would damage the environment and inflict pain and suffering on the host community, while carting away our treasured marine resources to overseas markets.
While we welcome investment in the country, we welcome only investment that does not have negative ripple effects on our communities and environment.
250 acres of land to be given away to “agents of globalization” is tantamount to wiping out young generations of the host community and the highest level of deprivation of generations yet unborn.
We believe that operating an industrial fish pond has un- anticipated and unforeseen adverse effects on not just the host community, but neighboring communities as well. The possible use of a dredge to deepen the harbor will disfigure the beach and the spilling of oils and fuel will definitely take a toll of the fish stock.
We therefore strongly stand in solidarity with the Black Johnson Community in their call for the preservation of their natural environment and abhor the dire effects of the fish harbor project on the people, the beach, the vegetation and the fish!
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