It is a popular belief that Road Infrastructure is a key component in National development and its lack can as well be a major setback in a variety of spheres regardless the aims and aspirations of the Citizenry. There could hardly be a better example for such a truism than Bailor – a Fishing Community in the Lokomasama. Amusingly, Lokomasama is one of the highly populated Chiefdoms in the North West District of Port Loko. As a matter of fact, it is a leading Food Basket Chiefdom in Sierra Leone with regards the production of Wallah Rice – the Nation’s Staple Food, Palm oil, Fish and a variety of Fruits and Vegetables.Lokomasama is a Chiefdom that has also produced quite a number of highly educated, productive and influential Personalities – the likes of Dr. Shaka Hassan Kanu of blessed memory, Dr. Alhaji Alpha Kanu alias AK 11, Hon. Osman Toloson Kanu, Mohamed Alpha Gassama – a Business Tycoon and Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh – the current Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Until recently when the Chiefdom is De – amalgamated, Lokomasama used to serve as the Port for the export of Iron Ore and other Minerals. Pepel – the famous Port Town for the exportation of these Minerals is now been factored to the newly De – amalgamated Chiefdom of Kamasondu.
One would have thought these are basic requirements for this Chiefdom to be classified as one of the most developed not only in Port Loko District but in the Country as a whole. Regrettably, Lokomasama is one of the least developed with enormous challenges in terms of even basic amenities. As if to make a bad situation worse, Lokomasama is well known for Cholera and other Outbreaks in the Country. Most Communities in this Chiefdom lack Safe Drinking Water, Good Roads, Adequate Health and Educational Facilities. In Bailor for instance as in several other Coastal Communities, the Inhabitants cannot even boast of proper Toilet Facilities and the bulk of the Population is left with the only alternative of defecating in the Open and along the Beaches – which is a possible reason for being a Cholera Prone Community and source of other Outbreak of Diseases into the Country. The Community is also faced with Land Degradation as its Landscape is gradually being swallowed by the High Seas. But it would appear Road Network is the most crucial challenge for the People of Bailor and its Surrounding Communities.
These Communities are often cut off from each other especially in the Rainy Season when almost all the Potholes, Culverts and Bridges are being flooded by the Downpour. This is prevalent in Bomkiri, Yurika, Gbainty – Wallah and Bankia Sections including Bailor Town itself, where the Roads are not good enough for even Motorbikes to ply on let alone Vehicles. One of the frustrating things in all of these is the number of unfulfilled promises the People of Lokomasama have had from successive Governments. Hopelessness of an unfulfilled anxiety could be deduced from faces of Stakeholders who were recently summoned to a Meeting by Mr. Mohamed Alpha ‘Topman’ Gassama – a Senior Native of Katick in the Gbainty – Wallah Section, Lokomasama Chiefdom. The Purpose of the Meeting was to inform Natives about the intention of the Vice President – Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh to once and for all, address the issue of Road Network in the Lokomasama Chiefdom. It was held at Bailor Town and attracted a lot of key Stakeholders including Traditional Authorities, Fishermen, Business Women, Youth Representatives and Political Party Stalwarts.
The Local Court Chairman – Pa Komrabai Kamara aka ‘Benthenben’, Alpha Sesay, Mohamed Ali Kamara, Alfred Sesay, and Representatives of the Ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party [SLPP] who graced the occasion, said it was a unique pleasure to have been summoned for such a history – making Event. The Respective Speakers said in their separate contributions, they were there in appreciation of what Mr. Mohamed Alpha ‘Top man’ Gassama and Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh have so far done for them and with the fullest conviction that they will not be disappointed this time around. As outlined by the Bailor Town Chief – Pa Komrabai N’yarma, Bomkiri Section in which Bailor is located, has about 88 Towns and Villages that connect to places like Conakry – Dee in the Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom and Yealiboya in the Samu Chiefdom / Kambia District.
This was buttressed by the Regent Chief of Lokomasama Chiefdom – Pa Bockarie Bangura, who said the Chiefdom has over 360 Towns and Villages and that his People were in dare need of an assistance. The Regent Chief emphasized how they will remain loyal to anyone or Party that would be able to actualize their lifelong dream. The Prevailing situation in Bailor and its Surroundings is such that Fishmongers and other categories of Business People cannot transport their products to Market Places due to Poor Road Network.
But Mr. Mohamed Alpha Top – man Gassama was quick to identify additional challenges when he took the Podium to deliver the Message of Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh. He observed that Bailor is a Fish – Mining Community which deserves Solar Light System, a functional Cold-room and a modern Toilet Facilities in addition to the gaping challenges posed by Bad Road Network. He went further to allay the fears of all and sundry that it is no longer the case of ‘Unfulfilled Promises’ as both President Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh have resolved to redeem Bailor and the Nearby Communities from their age-old constraints, by Constructing the Road from Bailor to Kalangba Junction. While trying to endorse that the SLPP led Government is ‘Action Oriented, Mr. Mohamed Gassama used the opportunity to catalogue the Genuine Plans President Bio has for the People of Lokomasama, Port Loko District and by extension, the North West Region. ‘I am sent by Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh to inform you that the Talk and Do Government of President Julius Maada Bio has agreed to your appeal for the Construction of the Bailor Road, and that work will start in earnest early next week’ he disclosed amidst thunderous applaud.
Apart from the Flagship Program on Free Quality Education for every Sierra Leonean of School going age at the National Level, the Special Envoy of Vice President Juldeh Jalloh said, President Bio has done a lot more for the People of Port Loko District.
Mr. Mohamed Alpha Gassama said, it is in Port Loko City that President Bio Constructed the first Girls’ School for Port Loko Town in addition to the One Hundred – Bed Hospital and the Biggest NASSIT Building whose constructions were now at an advance stage.He said similar Construction works are also ongoing in Koya where Solar and Iron – Ore Factories are being constructed. Mr. Mohamed Alpha Tom –Man Gassama did not only keep the Audience nodding in approval to his utterances after he had outlined the Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom Projects where the International Airport is being expanded, but every other person was thrilled when he started itemizing the Project Vice President Juldeh Jalloh has single headedly done to foster the much need development at the doorstep of his People. The Envoy singled out the Nursing School and Market Buildings in Lokomasama, the Bridges and Culverts at Kontha Wallah and Bankinia respectively.
He said the Construction Works for all the Bridges and Culverts along the Bailor Road are expected to commence early next week and will be complete within 4 Months – which he stressed, is also intended to mark the demise of the All Peoples Congress [APC] Party in the Lokomasama Chiefdom. ‘I want to assure the Youths in particular that they will be gainfully engaged in the Works and I beseech you all to take ownership of the Project in ensuring that everything is standard’ – Mr. Gassama summarized.