A ward committee member of ward 382 in constituency 107 in Freetown, Aminata Sesay, has told this reporter that they are currently having sleepless night at the Kroo Bay community because the slum is a hub for criminals.
She made this statement Tuesday morning while this reporter was investigating reasons why Kroo Bay residents have returned to the disaster prone community after last September flooding.
“The criminals here have knives, scissors, tar, machetes, among other weapons,” she told Concord Times, adding that the crime rate in the community is on the increase and that many inhabitants are harassed by the thieves.
Madam Aminata Sesay disclosed that besides thievery, child trafficking is also rampant in the sprawling slum community.
“Many people here go to the provinces and take children from their parents in the name of sending them to school. At the end of the day, these kids are given charcoal, cold water, and other items to sell on the street of Freetown,” she said.
She revealed that men in the community also abuse young girls. She cited an instance where a man she didn’t name is currently serving time at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre following his conviction for abusing a six-year-old girl in the community, few months ago.
“Another major problem that we face in this community is the lack of government’s support to this community,” she said, and added that since their houses and properties were destroyed during the 16 September flooding last year, there had been little effort by the government to support them.
“The four hundred thousand Leones that the government gave to us to rent a house was not enough to do so. That was why we returned here because rents of houses and cost of living are less expensive at Kroo Bay,” she said.
The Temne Section Chief in the community, Pa Alimamy Kamara, popularly called Suwonkie, confirmed that there are many criminals in the community who make life very uncomfortable for them especially at night.
“The thieves are harboured here, we have complained several times for them to be chased out but to no avail. There are at least two complaints of house-breaking that come to my ‘barray’ every month,” he revealed.
He said they are still struggling to cope, almost six months after the flooding left them almost homeless.
“I have just bought bags of cement to reconstruct my ‘barray’ again, which was destroyed on 16 September, 2015. People live here because cost of living is less expensive, their wares sell quickly here, some people do fishing, among other activities, to eke a living here,” he concluded.