Youths in Tonkolili District have expressed thanks and appreciation to the management and staff of African Minerals Limited (AML) for providing jobs and others facilities for them. (Photo: PC Alimamy Koroma of Bumbuna flanked by his father and the Youth Leader, Gibrila B. Bangura)
Speaking to this Reporter, the Youth Leader in Kalasogoia Chiefdom, Tonkolili District, Mr. Gibrilla B. Bangura, said that life in the chiefdom before the coming of AML was difficult and most of the youths used to depend on farming to earn a living.
He also stated that it was challenging for them to earn fifty thousand Leones in a month, as most of the proceeds from their farming activities were just to feed their families.
He further stated that they used to find it difficult to interact with other people in other towns and villages as most of the other youths were engaged in the bush and cared less about others.
He stated that during this time Bumbuna used to be very quiet town with very little business activities.
“Bumbuna was less considered and people did not even care about us. We were not considered as part ofSierra Leoneuntil African Minerals discovered us,” he noted.
He thanked the Government for allowing African Minerals to mine in their district, noting that had it not been for that they would have remained poor bushmen and women.
He confessed that since the start of AML explorations, they have been benefiting from the company in education, road constructions, infrastructure, scholarships, and employment.
He stated that about 90% of the young people in the district benefit directly or indirectly from the company, adding that they can now boast of taking adequate care of their families from the money they are paid by the company.
Another resident of the village, Yillah Koroma said they are indeed blessed to have a company like AML in their district, as according to him, without AML some of them will not be able to take care of their families. He appealed to people who are in the habit of condemning AML to stop.
“You are not helping us, allow us to reap the benefit of our labour,” he noted.
He concluded by stating that he regrets not having gone to school as had he been educated he would have got an attractive job at the company.
He appealed to his colleagues who have the opportunity to work with the company, to focus on their work, while he admonished those with scholarships from the company to pay attention to their education as it is the key to success.