The Race Course Project: Review
RACE COURSE CEMETERY FENCING PROJECT
APPEAL LAUNCHED ON SUNDAY, 20 MAY 2012
at Church of The Holy Trinity, Kissy Road, Freetown.
By Sierra Leone Bicentenary Trust, Registered Charity No: 700447 England
In partnership with TUMAC Sierra Leone
And consultation with Freetown City Council.
20 April 2013
Will the Race Course Cemetery fencing project come to an abrupt end?
Attached are photographs of the damage done to the fence which, under the above project, patriotic and hardworking Sierra Leoneans have laboured to construct.
It has taken patience which only the likes of Job can endure to secure the final resting place of our dear mothers, fathers, friends and relatives whose memories we hold so sacred. In the absence of an initiative by the City Council of Freetown, well-meaning and patriotic citizens have put their hard earned cash to secure these resting places. The City Council took advantage of the photo opportunity at the launch of this project but it appears that’s where their support ended. They receive rates and taxes for this very purpose, not to mention charges levied for the grave sites. Yet, it takes citizens particularly in the diaspora to fund this tiny project. This project supports the President’s AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY. I challenge you to please tell me which prosperous country in this world abandons the final resting place of its citizens.
The project has been fraught with losses from the theft of materials and tools. In an effort to limit these losses, the project team was promised the exclusive use of one room out of the four rooms in the building for the duration of the project. The Cemetery Keeper blatantly defied his superiors and this fell on deaf ears! Apparently, the Keeper refused because of an empty desk in the room he called his office, thus putting his interests above the wider interests of the Council and the country as a whole. The Council reneged on their earlier promise and supported the Keeper without offering us an alternative. How unpatriotic!
Despite this setback, the project struggled on. What finally put the nail in the coffin (no pun intended) is the incessant damage to the newly constructed walls. The walls are knocked down by traffic coming from the Petrol Station opposite the cemetery because the erection of the walls defines the cemetery boundary which had previously been obscured. This invites thieves to help themselves to exposed blocks and the pillars themselves are broken down to gain access to the iron rods which had reinforced these pillars. Vandalism prevails!
These losses can no longer be sustained and sadly the project must be abandoned if the situation remains unchanged.
A project appraisal identifies that:
· The City Council should bear the cost of the current and any future damage done to the wall.
· The Road Transport Corporation should appraise the traffic arrangements of the Race Course Road and properly sign any new traffic arrangements.
· The Chair of the Fencing Project should seek the assistance of the various stakeholders to ensure that these first two points are actioned.
· A proper and befitting dedication of the wall is to be organised.
One of the dedicated FOD volunteers helping the workers.