A 2-day Problem-Solving Workshop on Tiwai Island, organized by Peace & Reconciliation Movement-Sierra Leone funded by Conciliation Resources in collaboration with Parliamentary representatives, Paramount Chiefs and Regent Chief of Barri and Koya Chiefdoms, in Pujehun and Kenema Districts respectively, have peacefully resolved the conflict between Tiwai Island host communities and Environmental Foundation for Africa.
The Workshop held on Saturday, 25th and Sunday, 26th April 2009, at Kambama Village on the bank of Moa River overlooking Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary brought together local chiefs, Women’s and Youth Groups drawn from all eight (8) host communities.
And as per recommendations made in what has been termed as the Kambama Communiqué, it was resolved that all activities and Work Plans be initiated within the stipulated time frame and that proper documentation of reports will be circulated to strategic stakeholders.
It was also agreed that Bye-Laws will be developed to address defaulters and offenders of the Tiwai Island Administrative Committee (TIAC) and all eight (8) host communities. Addressing the gathering, Director of Regional Programmes, EFA, Tommy Garnett, first and foremost thanked officials of Peace & Reconciliation Movement-Sierra Leone for amicably helping to resolve the bone of contention with the host communities.
He in turn praised the good job done by the PC, Barri Chiefdom, and PC Vandy Kon Magona together with Honourable Alhaji Jobson Momoh, Regent Chief, Koya Chiefdom, Kenema District, Abdul Karim Kerefa and Hon. Lansana Ibrahim Kemokai respectively. Tommy Garnette and Jeneba E Navo the focal point for TIAC both praised the community people and further reassured them of a peaceful co-existence more than ever before.
For their parts, both PC Magona and the Regent Chief, Kerefa say they remain very proud and further praised for peaceful resolution of the long-standing conflict. Similar assurances were registered by both Parliamentary Representatives in the persons of Hon. Alhaji Jobson Momoh and Hon. Lansana Kemokai who later called on all sides of the divide to now work towards the advancement of Tiwai Island and above all stick to the terms agreed upon.
In their statements, Karmoh Alusine Turay of Kambama Village, Barri Chairlady, Beindu Sannoh of Giema Koya Chiefdom, Youth Leader, Osman T. Sow of Segbwema Koya Chiefdom, Spokeswoman Fatmata G. Koroma of Kambama, Barri all surprisingly dropped their uncompromising stand and further promised to work concertedly with the EFA and Tiwai Island Administrative Committee with the view of putting the Island on the map.
Other speakers included Councilors Juana Kanneh and Taillu Fullah, Ibrahim Luama, and high-profile officers of Peace & Reconciliation Movement including Hassan H. Feika, Executive Director, and David A. Ngombu, representative from Conciliation Resources, Alex Nallo, Senior. Field Officer, Andrew Karim, Monitoring Officer Margaret Banya, Peterson Samai, and Diana Turay among various others
The climax of the 2-day Peace Workshop was reached by donation of eight footballs to all eight (8) local communities that make the Tiwai Island.
The balls were provided by EFA and shared out by EFA focal point for Tiwai Island Administrative Committee, Jeneba E. Navo while photos were taken by a Ph. D. Researcher form the University of Georgia, USA, April Conway.
The ceremony ended up with the singing of a peace song put together by Peace & Reconciliation Movement-Sierra Leone.
It must be stated that the above discussions took place under the watchful eyes of the Planning and Product Development Officer of the National Tourist Board of Sierra Leone, Umaru Woody who in turn commended all stakeholders for peaceful resolution of the conflict