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Sierra Leone: The best essay of the 2019 grand essay competition

11 October 2019 at 13:26 | 3359 views

The Sierra Leone I want to see

By Naomi Kargbo, Annie Walsh Memorial School, Freetown

Sierra Leone is a beautiful country, full of beautiful people and blessed with a beautiful landscape and many natural resources. The country has come a long way since we gained independence in 1961. There have been remarkable development in areas like infrastructure and electricity distribution. Yet with all these developments that have taken place, there are some major areas that need attention.

Areas like the health and education sector are in need of support. According to U.N (United Nations) reports Sierra Leone is counted as one of the poorest countries in the world. The poverty rate increases whilst the economy declines, the unemployment rate terribly high. There are many families that live under 1 dollar each day, some can’t even afford the three basic meals per day. Many people, especially young children suffer from malnutrition, causing the infant mortality rate to increase. As some problems affecting the country have been stated above, the question is how can these problems be tackled?

Firstly, in order for a country to make progress the economy is one thing that needs serious attention. How will it be made possible for the economy to be stabilized? In a country like ours where the main source of export is raw materials, one major sector that needs lots of support is the agricultural sector. People involved in farm work need a boost from the government, in a sense they need to be provided with the equipment needed to make their work go on smoothly. When the farmers receive the necessary equipment they would produce in abundance and it would be possible to export their produce thus bringing in revenue which would be a big boost to the economy. As there is a need for more people to involve in agriculture, young people are encouraged to get involve in agro based industries because that would give them an occupation that would make it possible for them to provide for themselves and their families. Improving the agricultural sector would also help reduce the rate of people suffering from starvation, because when there is an abundance of food it would be made available and affordable in the market for many people, when there is an abundance of good food people would be healthy and happy and the number of children suffering from malnutrition would decline.

For a very long time the health sector Sierra Leone has been in a dilapidated condition. Due to the unavailability of necessary medical equipment, many people see it fit to travel abroad to have major surgeries because most of the doctors are not qualified to perform such operations. for people who can’t afford to travel abroad they suffer with ailments. If the government were to try and provide the public hospitals with the necessary equipment they need many people would have access to try the kind of health care they need. Also training sessions need to be initiated to train doctors so that they would be able to deliver good quality health care and they would be more qualified to perform major surgery. In this way people wouldn’t need to travel abroad to receive good health care and it would be made available for least fortunate people.

Another reason why the health sector is in a bad condition is due to the behavior of some of the health workers towards their patients. Some of the health workers talk rudely to the patients, the patient’s surrounding aren’t kept clean, the patients aren’t treated well by the health workers. All this behavior shows little or no respect for human life, so health workers are encouraged to cultivate good working habits by showing more respect and concern for the lives of others. Health workers are very important people in the society so they to be encouraged. One way they can be encouraged is by being payed their salaries on time as that would encourage them to work efficiently and give good health care to all Sierra Leoneans.

Some time ago Sierra Leone was famously known as the “Athens of West Africa”. In those days people travelled from different parts of the world to receive a good education in Sierra Leone. But it has been noticed that in the past years the standard of education in Sierra Leone has declined. What is the real problem and how could this problem be solved?

Speaking of education the main party involved is the teachers. The teaching profession is one of the most important in any society, without teachers there is no education. What role do the teachers play in boosting the standard of education in Sierra Leone? They play a major role in education sector. Nowadays most teachers are not enthusiastic about their jobs, most of them are discouraged and frustrated over their jobs. They complain about their salaries and the delay of their pay. In order for the teachers to do their work effectively they need encouragement, encouragement in a sense they need to be provided with the necessary teaching tools.

Another way of giving encouragement to teachers is by paying them their salaries on time even increment of their salaries would be a great source of encouragement. Also if teachers were supported with housing and car loans that would help them do their work zealously because they would have in mind that in the end their hard work would not be for nothing.

The issue of unemployment is a problem in any countries around the world and in Sierra Leone it is a major problem. Due to the high rate of illiteracy in the country the rate of unemployment is very high. If the government were to put up vocational institutions where people can learn middle level man power jobs that would help them create jobs for themselves and other people which would help them earn income and enable them to provide the basic necessities for themselves and their families. In that way the poverty rate would reduce drastically.

As some of the problems affecting the country have been stated above, the question we should ask ourselves is what can I as a citizen of Sierra Leone do to contribute to the development of the country? Come to think of it the responsibility of making the country a better place lies on the shoulders of each and every one of its citizens. As much as the government play a great role in the development of the country, we the citizens make up the country and in order to see a change we the citizens need to make a change.

What are some of the changes we need to make?
Firstly, we need to change our attitude and behaviour, we need to refrain from doing the things that ruin the country. One of those things is the way we manage our waste. Many Sierra Leoneans are in the habit of depositing garbage all round the place, some people deposit garbage in gutters and other people’s property. If we were to refrain from doing that and dispose of our waste in the allotted places, that would help keep the country clean and that would help in the beautification of the country and reduce the outbreak of diseases.

Another way we can help in the development of the country is by cultivating an unselfish attitude, that is being in the habit of sharing. Resources that are meant for the benefit of everyone should not be used and abused by just one person or a particular group of people but citizen deserves to benefit from it. If these suggestions were put in action Sierra Leone would be transformed into a better place to live, the economy would be stabilized, the health and education sector would improve greatly, the unemployment rate would decrease, families would be able to afford at least the three basic meals per day, the citizens would be healthy and happy , the country would be clean, resources would be distributed evenly and Sierra Leone would be a better place to live, it would then be the “Sierra Leone I want to see.”

The author, Naomi Kargbo