Following the KDDA-UK press release on the discovered 706.41 carat diamond in Konoland, a prominent politician, environmentalist and teacher, Mr Komba David Sandi sent out a pertinent letter outlining some major points that could be put in place for the (re)development of Kono District should the 704.41 carat gem be sold and the proceeds be genuinely put in good use by the authorities that be
Here is the letter to the KDDA:-
A Pertinent Letter; ref 706.41 Carat Diamond
Secretary and Chair KDDA.
A good follow up could be to outline development options that the income from the gem could achieve in Kono. For example:
– completion of city road network and that of other main urban centres in Kono
– consolidation and extension of power supply
– realization of much trumpeted pipe-borne water supply
– realising construction of long planned Eastern University Kono campus, as promised by the president.
And this should come from the government percentage. Normal distribution is 3% to government. Of balance, 30% goes to land owners (here the people of Koryadu as the site we are told is in the town plot) and 70% to supporters and workers.
These percentages could change.
If a plot is not licensed, the diamond goes to the government with compensation going to the finders. It’s also possible for the government percent to rise, if national mineral resource rentals, agency etc. are added.
Whatever the situation, 50% of the government’s share should go to the district which will be distributed with percentages for district and city councils and traditional local authority of the diamond originating chiefdom.
The point at stake here is there are many windows of opportunity for development in kono – subject to the necessary will to carry out such.
Considering the vast sum involved, possibly 50 + million dollars as I hear, all recipients can do a lot. For instance, the local councils could seriously pay attention to employment creation by investing in high employment areas like agribusiness. There could also be investment in income generating improved sanitation. Think of how much you pay just to urinate at some public lawns in the UK and you get what I mean. And it creates jobs and income for the councils. Landscaping of the city and other large urban centres would also create jobs (the improvements would need to be sustained) and improve the sight line of the district for prospective tourists. Low cost housing etc.etc… There’s is a lot of developmental goals that can be achieved (-no time to analyse all here) both by individuals, local and central authority if greed, myopia or absolute foolhardiness do not detract from Kono’s focused developmental altruism.
Can you imagine what you can achieve in Sierra Leone with 1 billion Leones? Well imagine that 1 million dollars is around 7.5 billion Leones. Extrapolate to the millions involved here and you get an idea that those concerned who want money can have lots without sidestepping the need for dramatic improvement in the social welfare and infrastructure needs of Kono. God bless us all.
Copyright: K. D. Sandi