Karene District, Northern Province, Saturday 27 March 2021 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has toured major towns in the Karene District as part of his inclusive approach to governance and shared his government’s district-specific achievements for citizens in that part of the country, 156km from the capital, Freetown.
In Sanda Tendaren, Regent Chief Alhaji Bundu said they were happy with the visit of President Bio, noting that it demonstrated strong leadership that had sought to bring governance and development discussions and decisions closer to the people.
“We consider this visit as a source of pride. Your Excellency sir, we appreciate the Free Quality Education and Free Health Care in this part of the country. This time we have seen an increase in the number of school-going children. We, therefore, take this opportunity to ask for more development so that Sanda Tendaren will catch up with other areas in the country in terms of development,” he requested.
In Batkanu, Paramount Chief Bai Yankay Kargbo said after 1975 President Julius Maada Bio was the only sitting President to have visited them and further confessed to the fact that that decision demonstrated bravery, for which they would forever be grateful.
“Mr. President, we are pleased with your development agenda. Prior to now, our road network was very deplorable, but your government has graded our main road. This shows that your government is very inclusive. We, the people of this part of the district, are kindly asking you to replace the ferry that links Batkanu and other parts of the district,” the Paramount Chief said.
In his response, President Bio congratulated the people of Karene District for their courage, resilience and zeal, saying that the district was the least developed in the country. He observed that the people did not deserve the deplorable state of the road network they had, citing the lack of other social facilities that would integrate the whole district.
The President assured them that his government would continue to look after the well-being of its citizens, adding that that was why he had allocated 22% of the country’s annual budget to education. He said nobody should be left behind in the country’s efforts to harness the many opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
He further assured that his government would do major road construction in the district and to replace two broken ferries out of the five in the district.
“Since 2019, six mini-grids have been in operation under the Rural Renewable Energy Project, serving approximately 900 to 1500 households directly, and providing electricity to the Community Health Centres and complement villages in the following places: Kamasondo; Batkanu; Sendugu; Kathantha; Kathantha Yimboi; Fitonia.
“We will work on the Kabatha Junction – Gbinti – Batkanu – Mateboi – Foreloko (86.00 km) road. My Government also recognises that previous Governments have not sufficiently invested in roads and bridges in this district. I think we should transform the following from hand-pulled ferries to reinforced concrete bridges:1. Yebele Ferry 2. Kabba Ferry 3. Bantoro Ferry, 4. Tomparie Ferry.
“Done in other parts of the country but specifically for the case of Kamakwie, I decided to travel to Karene and hand-deliver a symbolic cheque of 25 billion Leones to SDF grantees (TVET institutions and organizations in the North.) Karene will also benefit from a brand new TVET centre soon,” he concluded.
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