Scores of Kenema residents are currently in great solidarity with an injured BKPS Staff whose compensation issue is yet to be settled. The Kenema Civil Society in particular is following up the matter with great interest.
Back in October 2008 Mr. Mohamed Lahai Siaka was electrocuted while fixing a faulty line at Mano Juction. The accident chopped off his two fingers, two toes and left him unconsciously dangling on the pole by his belt.
Narrating his ordeal on that fateful day Mr Lahai told a meeting of Civil Society at the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) office in Kenema, he explained that he is a Technical staff at the Bo – Kenema Power Service (BKPS). That he joined BKPS as a Distribution laborer and is now a staff attached to the mechanical and technical wing assisting on the lines.
Mohamed said that on Sunday October 20, 2008 he was on late duty when they got information that the transmission line from Goma in Dodo chiefdom to Kenema city had developed some fault which led to power break down. They then got a call from their headquarters in Bo that they should go and amend the problem immediately. Later, he and his Supervisor Mr Joseph Sankoh took off at 5 pm on a motor bike since there was no vehicle at the station.
They got to the Mano junction electricity opening point to trace the fault. While there he said their Superintendent Juana Fangawa advised that they hold on until they get clearance that the lines were all off.
Mr. Fangawa later called and confirmed that the line was completely off and that they should trace the fault. Joseph Sankoh, Mohamed’s Supervisor then asked him to climb up the pole and go ahead with the work.
It was while Mohamed was connecting the lines that a return current shocked him. He added that at that same moment there was lightening. He further explained that when he regained consciousness he found himself on the government hospital bed, where his colleagues explained to him that he was dangling on the electric pole by his belt for sometime before he was removed.Two of his fingers and two toes had been chopped off and he had a deep cut on his leg.
Mohamed told the meeting that his office BKPS took care of his medical bills until he was discharged on December 12, 2008. His office in Kenema later wrote a letter to the Personnel and Training Manager of BKPS head quarters in Bo about his plight after his colleagues in the office in Kenema protested about his welfare. After some time the Head Office in Bo gave him two million Leones as compensation. While at the hospital the personnel and training manager Brima Banya went with the National Insurance Company form which was filled by Mohamed and taken to Bo. Two months later the same document was sent to His Supervisor for him to fill the two blank spaces that was left out which he did and was taken again to Bo. Since then seven months have lapsed without any communication about the Insurance claim “from either my office or the NIC office.”
Mohamed said he had made several contacts to the bosses in Bo about the insurance claim but he was always told that they are making follow ups. Mohamed accused his office of paying lips service to his plight saying that his deformity will never be reversed. He is calling on the government and the civil society to intervene. The Kenema Civil Society have vowed to help pursue the matter until justice is done.
When Awoko press called up the Personnel and Training Manager Brima Banya in Bo on Mohamed’s Insurance issue he said he can not talk to Awoko or any journalist on the matter.