Our Progenitors

11.1.2022 16.40 Sahr O Fasuluku. Written for Uncle Fengai Kaimachiende, whose funeral ceremony took place on the 12th January 2022 in Kono District, Sierra Leone. They are the roofs over our heads piercing obstacles above us in the clouds making paths and shielding from the hail so we may choose to rise to the heights we should and getting there climb on their shoulders and do more than they. Battling above us, in struggles that we barely sense from far off thunder. They are the floors that support our feet that help us fall and feel the pain, of our … Continue reading Our Progenitors

If concrete were success, Sierra Leone’s 60th would be a celebration

After all the hopes the Golden Jubilee would galvanise restoration, all I see is more concrete. I see rampant deforestation, and more concrete, less trees, more concrete, more environmental degradation and loss of fertile soil to erosion, more concrete, plenty plenty corruption and nepotism, and concrete, massive social decay, poverty, neglect and absence of compassion, and more concrete, rivers of plastic waste, more concrete, beach sand mining, and more concrete, seas stripped of fish by industrial trawlers, more concrete, hospitals ill staffed, ill equipped and dirty with one doctor per 10,000 people, and of course the symbol of all great … Continue reading If concrete were success, Sierra Leone’s 60th would be a celebration

Privilege means not having to be constantly referred to as a minority

Within the UK, the term ‘minority’ might be useful to highlight the extent of oppression by a majority (that is if we cut off our relationships with the rest of the world eg Africa, Asia, our Diaspora, our families back home, etc). But NGOs and many of our ethnic groups are global and operate at a global level; some of us (including me) don’t quite see ourselves as a minority, quite the opposite actually. Consider the population of one country, Nigeria, by itself; over three times the total population of the UK. Add the rest of West Africa; that’s the … Continue reading Privilege means not having to be constantly referred to as a minority

Is my horse manure contaminated with aminopyralid?

For the last few months I’ve been composting with horse manure I got from Ealing Riding School. I thought it would be an ideal organic boost to the very poor soil in my garden. Now the tops of my potatoes plants are curling. Some mentioned a virus but further research suggests it may be a persistent hormonal weed killer containing aminopyralid used by farmers on grassland to suppress broad leaved plants and manufactured by Dow Chemicals. The fodder in the fields absorbs the chemical and is cut and sold as feed to farms and stables. Apparently allotments have been affected … Continue reading Is my horse manure contaminated with aminopyralid?

How the UK Environment Bill can help Africa’s plastics and pollution problem

The Environment Bill Policy Paper 2018 said the UK government intends for the bill to “uphold in full the important ‘polluter pays’ guiding principle”.  But for this to be effective, the polluter pays principle must be included in the UK Environment Bill with civil and criminal liability for UK (and UK offshore) individuals, companies and their partners; whose products cause environmental pollution in Africa; or whose activities, policies or practices cause environmental and ecological damage in Africa. Continue reading How the UK Environment Bill can help Africa’s plastics and pollution problem

Localising Conservation and Sustainable Land Management in Kono District, Sierra Leone

Since 1975, forest area in Kono District has reduced from around 34% to 15%, savanna has increased from 47% to 64%. Soil loss and soil degradation reduce agricultural yield-per-hectare. Increased land pressures and lower soil fertility cause shorter fallows.
Sustainable land management strategies will depend on people who interact with the land every day – the farmers. Continue reading Localising Conservation and Sustainable Land Management in Kono District, Sierra Leone

Civil Society Capacity, Constraints and potential to deliver localised Sustainable Development Goals in Kono District, Sierra Leone – Research Study 2018

“Can mitigating the constraints on civil society in Kono District increase its potential for building its capacity and providing strong advocacy and progress towards localised Sustainable Development Goals?” Continue reading Civil Society Capacity, Constraints and potential to deliver localised Sustainable Development Goals in Kono District, Sierra Leone – Research Study 2018

It’s never too late; a dream deferred arrives

It was a dream of many who came before, to help develop our home, Kono. It’s been over 50 years since the Kono Students Union started. 27 years since it renamed itself the Organisation of Kono Unity (OKU), and over 20 years since its members overtly expressed their development intentions by naming it the Kono District Development Association (KDDA). In January this year, without fanfare, fireworks or celebration, the KDDA crossed an apparently insurmountable milestone; local registration of a self-governing Community Based Organisation (CBO) in Kono District comprising a cross section of civil society, the Kono District Development Association SL. … Continue reading It’s never too late; a dream deferred arrives

Coalitions for Change or Unchange

The Sierra Leonean coalitions joining forces is a winning strategy. If egos can step out of the way and Sierra Leone’s disenfranchised local communities come first (they never come first). The main coalition(s) players can either make history and give Sierra Leone the chance its been crying for for all my life. Or they can battle it out between themselves, thinking either has any snowball’s chance of winning without the other, making the Sunpalmtree party happy, and fading into insignificance.  We have a convergence. Perhaps unprecedented. A convergence of public opinion and disillusionment, public preparedness to think the unthinkable; that … Continue reading Coalitions for Change or Unchange