The Tongo International Solutions (TIS) on Friday 15th January 2021 at the Tongo Town Field launched the Le200 million project to rehabilitate the damaged former National Diamond Mining Company (NDMC) Hospital in Tongofields, Lower Bambara Chiefdom, Kenema District to serve the entire country.

The hospital was destroyed during the civil war.

Pledges were made by various personalities to the tune of millions of Leones for work to commence soon to be completed within 12 months for which several meetings have been held with major stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) all of whom are very interested in the project as the hospital used to be one of the best in the country.

Various stakeholders underscored the importance of the hospital that used to treat patients from all over the country and even the sub-region citing the recent case of a pregnant woman who gave birth while being transported on a commercial motorbike to a clinic.

Officially launching the project, Dr. James Samba recalled that he left Tongo 37 years ago, that he returned to launch the project because of TIS, that the people own the hospital that was originally constructed for NDMC workers and pledged Le10 million towards the project.

Other dignitaries who made pledges included Mrs. Fatmata Claire Calton Hanciles-Le10 million; Mr. Abduali Kabba-Le10 million; Mr. Achie Fofanah-Le10 million and former Ambassador Sullay Daramy Le10 million.

It was further disclosed that the people would provide labour to fast track the rehabilitation process to be completed within 12 months. 

The District Medical Officer, Kenema, Dr. Donald Grant, said they are excited and that when rehabilitated, government would provide trained and qualified personnel to the hospital adding that the hospital would mean a lot to the Ministry as it would among others help to decentralize the health care delivery system in the country to benefit over 26,000 people in that part of the country and concluded that they have assessed the hospital.

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board (LAB), Mrs. Fatmata Claire Calton Hanciles, disclosed that TIS is giving back to the community and appealed to all to support development projects in the community adding that TIS has also rehabilitated the Independence School in Tongo and now the hospital to be followed by other projects.

She recalled that in the 1960s and 70s different nationalities came to Tongo to mine diamonds but lamented that now only locals have remained underscoring that TIS has passion for Tongo and the entire chiefdom underscoring that there is no tribalism in Tongo.

Mrs. Hanciles also observed that due to the presence of the Legal Aid Board in the community, men are now responsibly taking care of their children and also donated a motorcycle to the LAB office for people to have access to justice in the area.    

The chairman of TIS Global, Abdulai Kabba reiterated that the hospital is very important not only to the community but the entire country, recalled that he was born in the hospital, urged all not to depend on government for development intimating that after the rehabilitation, expert medical teams from abroad would come to the hospital to perform free operations, reiterated plans by TIS to advance the community for which all citizens of the chiefdom would be mobilized and disclosed plans to merge other organisations with similar aims all in an effort to advance Tongo.

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He also assured that TIS would facilitate donation of equipment to the hospital from abroad as well as undertake other projects in the community like construction of water wells, award of scholarships to deserving pupils, support to widows and disclosed plans to formally launch the hospital project soon. 

The Chiefdom Speaker of Lower Bambara Chiefdom, Chief Lahai Konowa, assured that they would monitor the project.

The Member of Parliament for Constituency 015, Kenema District, Hon. Festus Lansana said the day is his happiest as TIS is complementing his efforts, that he has already started lobbying government and other stakeholders to rehabilitate the hospital, disclosed that government has assured that it would provide staff and equipment to the hospital asserting that mining causes a lot of illnesses.

He also appealed to the company to allocate some of the Chiefdom Development Committee funds to the hospital project as the importance of the project cannot be overstated pointing out that a lot of developments are taking place in the constituency citing the between 90-150 projects to be implemented by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA).

According to the MP, when rehabilitated, the hospital would also provide employment opportunities for the community.

Earlier, Mrs. Fatmata Claire Calton-Hanciles introduced the executive and members of TIS while Councilor Rose Fatoma chaired the well-attended ceremony.    

TIS members at home and abroad, especially from America and Europe, attended the ceremony.

A conducted tour of the hospital, cultural performances, presentation of certificates to members and other prominent personalities for their invaluable contributions to TIS and the community and the banquet at the Tongo Town Field climaxed the ceremony.

Alhaji Henry Quee of the Lower Bambara Chiefdom Elders Council, the Youth and Women’s Leaders, the representative of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, East, and other stakeholders also made statements pledging their loyalty and unflinching support to the project that they would embrace and protect.

The Project Coordinator of Sierra Mining Company, Mr. Martin Vamboi stated that the company is overwhelmed with the initiative of TIS to give back to the community, that the company is yet to commence production of diamonds but has constructed three schools, that this year the company would donate Le1 billion to the Chiefdom Development Community and promised to work closely with the community to rehabilitate the hospital.

TIS is officially registered in America and France with plans to replicate same in other parts of the world.

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