The Tongo International Solutions (TIS) on Friday 15th January 2021 launched a Le 200 million project to rehabilitate the former National Diamond Mining Company (NDMC) Hospital in Tongo fields, 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.
At the ceremony held at Tongo Field, various stakeholders underscored the importance of the hospital, saying it used to treat patients from across the country.
Dr James Samba who was present to officially launch the project is spearheading the project. He said he had left Tongo since 37 years ago but that he was happy to be part of history as he pledged Le 10 million towards the rehabilitation work.
He said he returned to launch the project because of TIS and the people of Tongo that own the hospital. It was originally constructed for NDMC workers.
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.
The District Medical Officer, Kenema, Dr Donald Grant in his statement said they were excited over the project, noting that the government would provide trained and qualified personnel to the hospital once rehabilitated.
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. She said that was the second project undertaken by TIS, after rehabilitating the Independence School.
The chairman of TIS Global, Abdulai Kabba reiterated the importance of the hospital not only to the community but the entire country. He informed that after the rehabilitation, medical teams from abroad will come to the hospital to perform free operations
He also assured that TIS would facilitate the donation of equipment to the hospital from abroad as well as undertake other projects in the community like the construction of water wells, the 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 them 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 complimenting his efforts, that he has already started lobbying the government and other stakeholders to rehabilitate the hospital, disclosed that the 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.
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.