RESIDENT MINISTER SOUTH-EAST COMMISSIONS THE NEWLY CONSTRUCTED ACCOMMODATION BLOCKS PHASE 2 FOR NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND OFFICERS OF 5 INFANTRY BRIGADE GONDAMA BARRACKS-BO..............
Newly Constructed Phase Two Accommodation Blocks Commissioned at 5 Infantry Brigade Headquarters – Gondama Barracks Bo
On Saturday 11th March 2023, the Resident Minister East who also doubles as the Acting Resident Minister South, Brigadier General (Rtd) Honourable KES Boyah commissioned 18 newly constructed Phase Two Accommodation Blocks at Gondama Barracks, 5 Infantry Brigade Headquarters –Bo. It could be recalled that Phase One of the Construction of Gondama Barracks was done to accommodate soldiers from the rank s of Private to Corporals whilst Phase 2 provides accommodations for Senior Non- Commission Officers and Officers of the 5th Infantry Brigade Headquarters.
The 5 Infantry Brigade Commander, Brigadier General ST Kanu in his welcomed address stated that he was very much grateful to the Senior Management of the MoD/RSLAF and by extension the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) for the construction of additional new accommodation blocks for personnel of his Brigade. “Today’s commissioning of this facility will not only alleviate the accommodation problems of 5 Infantry Brigade but will cater for the wellbeing of personnel and their dependents,” he emphasized.
Command 5 Infantry Brigade –Brigadier Host PC – Tikonko Chiefdom
General ST Kanu delivering the welcome Hon Professor Kaingbai Makavory
address delivering a statement
The Director General of the Ministry of Defence, Mr MB Daboh delivering the declaration of purpose and project appraisal, stated that the project started in 2016 to alleviate the acute accommodation problem across the Armed Forces. According to the Director General, it was abandoned along the line but shortly started in 2020 and the project was awarded to Packban Construction Enterprises. He further informed the gathering that the initial plan was for His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the RSLAF, Brigadier General (Rtd) Dr Julius Maada Bio to commission the accommodation blocks as part of several projects that were to be commissioned during the 2023 Armed Forces Week Celebrations but was not done due to the tight schedules of His Excellency, the President and C-in-C of the RSLAF.
He strongly appreciated the GoSL for providing the funds that completed the construction of accommodation blocks for RSLAF troops. “The project is not donor funded but 100% Government of Sierra Leone Funded,” he stressed. As part of His Excellency the President and Commander-in- Chief of the RSLAF Manifesto Promised in 2018 in solving the problem of the acute accommodation in the RSLAF.
Chief of Staff 5 Infantry Brigade –Colonel Deputy Sec Policy & Procurement-Mr Aiah
A Bangura delivering the vote of thanks Jimmy (middle) observing prayers
In delivering a statement, the host Paramount Chief of Tikonko Chiefdom, Honourable PC Professor Kaingbai Makavory mentioned that all over the world accommodation is a crisis and that it would never be enough. “7 years ago Soldiers were living in thatch or make shift houses but comported to what their military laws says,” he said. Noting that his Chiefdom has promised the GoSL and 5 Infantry Brigade Commander that they are always ready to collaborate and cooperate with them and whatever they are in need of their assistance they are ready and willing to help. “We have promised to give them extra land apart from the existing one,” he emphasized. He mentioned about the 110 hectares of land that the RSLAF requested to build a Military Academy but they know that Government business is slow because of its priorities and the revenue generation is small with huge expenditures. The Host Paramount Chief ended by admonishing all to be responsible citizens so that our attitude will attracts investors. He therefore, encouraged his people to support the RSLAF as they are proving security for nation.
Honourable Resident Minister East and Honourable Paramount Chief of Tikonko
Acting Resident Minister South cutting the C/dom - Professor Kaingbai Makavoray
tape for the commissioning of the newly pouring libation prior to the
constructed accommodation blocks commissioning of the blocks
The Chief of Defence Staff of the RSLAF- Lieutenant General PK Lavahun making a statement thanked the GoSL, Senior Management of the MoD/RSLAF and especially the Ministry of Finance for providing the required funds for making the project a reality. Accommodation he said is a serious challenge across the RSLAF and it will never be enough but as responsible leaders and commanders, they would not shy away from it and they would continue to engage Government as leaders on this. The project he said is part of the commitment of His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the RSLAF. He concluded by admonishing personnel to take ownership of the accommodation by taking good care of the blocks, also encouraging them to plant trees in order to beautify the environment. “I will becoming during the rainy season to confirm the tree planting exercise of occupants especially the ones that are doing well,” he stressed.
The Resident Minister for East and the Acting Resident Minister South, Brigadier General (Rtd) Honourable KES Boyah as the special Guest of Honour, in delivering his keynote address stated that he was delighted to be part of a very important function in the life of service personnel not as Government Minister but as somebody who had been part of the force. Nothing that a happy and successful commander is one who could have accessed to his troops for deployment at a very short notice. “A happy and ready to be deployed Soldier is the one who is properly accommodated in Barracks environment, this emphasizes the importance of adequate quartering for troops,” he said.
Mr R Mackingtosh, Contractor Fakie Army Wives Cooperative Society of
5 Infantry Brigade Headquarters - welcoming the Guest of Honour
Accommodation for service personnel had been a challenge especially after the Country’s Civil War, principally because it is an expensive venture. He concluded by highlighting the infrastructural development done by the GoSL across the force such as the accommodation blocks constructed at Six Forward Patrol Bases and a Forward Operating Base, the Newly Constructed Myohaung Officers’ Mess and Single Officers’ Quarters, the Newly Constructed Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess among others. He admonished all personnel to take good care of the accommodation by implementing RSLAF Barracks Accommodation Policy and regular inspections by commanders.
The Chief of Staff 5 Infantry Brigade, Colonel Abdul Bangura in delivering the vote of thanks appreciated the Guest of Honour for honouring their invitation and also the Senior Management of the MoD/ RSLAF for ensuring that their personnel are decently accommodated. He also recognized the tireless effort of the Host Paramount Chief for Tikonko Chiefdom for always rendering his support to the Brigade, Commander and Staff of 5 Infantry Brigade and the dependents of service personnel for their patience, loyalty, discipline and service to the nation.