A total of about 52 women in their late 40s and 50s who took up the job of cleaning the National Stadium after the inauguration of President Koroma have vented out their resentment of not receiving a cent from the government.
Speaking to Awoko yesterday at the National Stadium ring leader of the group Fatu Bangura said they were assigned to clean the Stadium through an instruction from the All Peoples Congress (APC) party.
She further explained that, “we are over 80 in the group but because they are not receiving anything some have stopped”, adding that, even to buy brooms and basket we use our own money from our pockets; imagine 80% of us are widows with many children at home.”
Mrs. Bangura further stated that,” even to drink we buy for ourselves or we get from one Kapri Koroma works Supervisor of the National Stadium.” The leader lamented that, “we clean the Stadium on a daily basis except on Fridays and Sundays”, adding that, “we are just trying to help the government clean the city and other institutions.” Highlighting some of the difficulties they face, the woman said that they are using their bare hands to pick up bits and pieces which is not good for them. She explained that whenever there is a launching or sports at the Stadium they will have a hectic day cleaning as they will pick up toilet (human excrement) in plastic bags, urine in cans and many other things. “When we are sick,” she disclosed, “at times we use our own money to take care of ourselves and we clean come heavy rain or shine we will sweep.” “We are old women, we have our own responsibilities we have children and grand children to take care off – Papa government please see to our constraints” lamented Mrs. Bangura, whilst further appealing that “school is about to open and we need money to take care of our children.”
The leader added: “we are appealing to government to please help us educate our children – even if it is a token given to us at the end of the month we will appreciate it so much”. Asked if government is aware of their duties, she replied that the government is aware, the President is aware, his Vice, the first lady and even the Mayor is aware, noting that they have held meetings with the first Lady and the Mayor on issues of the cleaning.
According to Mr. Koroma we are aware of the presence of the women and they were assigned by the APC party to the National Stadium. He added that, the management of the National Stadium generates funds from the rental of the place for launching or sports.
At times, he said we run out of funds and in the rainy season we hardly book for launching or sports.
By Abibatu Kamara