Speculations are currently arife on social media over the qualification of Kandeh Yumkella to contest for the Presidency.
It is the belief of many observers that Yumkella is automatically disqualified having not fulfilled the voters register requirements in the constitution. However, some opposition SLPP supporters have dismissed the claims stating that there is no Valid voters register in Sierra Leone.
This raises some speculations as to the validity of the constitutional provision. Regardless of this, Sierraloaded takes a look at the activities of the former UNIDO Boss while in the states that makes a deserve the presidency.
1. HYDRO ELECTRIC POWER (HEP) DAMS
In 2013, Dr Yumkella initiated and convinced UNIDO to fund the construction of three HEP DAMS in Charlotte, Moyamba and Bankasoka in port Loko. The multi million dollar Bankasoka Dam is nearing completion while the Charlotte Dam is also under construction near Freetown.
2. THE FISHERY AND MARINE TRAINING INSTITUTE
Built by UNIDO under the Directorship of Dr Kandeh Yumkella. It costs over one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) and was built to replace the old institute that was burnt down during the rebel war. Dr Yumkella as Director General also facilitated the training of 14 Sierra Leoneans graduates in various aspects of Marine Engineering at the Astrakhan Technical University in Russia who have returned home and are now running the institute.
3. THE GROWTH CENTRES
Dr Yumkella in his unending fight to use sustainable Energy to promote the fight against poverty, facilitated the setting up of 11 Growth Centres all over the Country by UNIDO. These Centres offer apprenticeship in local building materials production, computer skills, blacksmithery, tailoring, masonery, cassava processing, local juice production.
The Centres also promote the sale of ice, cold drinks courtesy of solar refrigerators etc. They also provide entertainment like live satellite football and affordable energy for the machinery of trades men. In a nutshell the Centres cater largely for youth empowerment.
4. THE BIOMASS GRASSIFIER IN KYCHOM KAMBIA DISTRICT
This Biomass Grassifier which was installed by Dr Yumkella uses rice hulk to provide power for rice mills, carpentry equipment, freezers etc. This one installed in Kambia by UNIDO under Dr Yumkella is a pilot project which is adapted from India.
It powers 250 houses in Kychom and provides street light, energy for the Centres providing apprenticeships and public buildings like mosques, schools, churches and commercial centres. The project had boosted trade and education. Dr Yumkella aim is to replicate it in other parts of the Country.
5. YOUTH TO YOUTH FUND PROGRAMME
In 2011, under Dr Yumkella established youth to youth fund programme to create employment for youth, and businesses for others in a bid to make them peer employers. By the end of 2011, 12 businesses had been created. 144 mainly female and disabled youth had also been put into micro business.
Examples of the success stories under this project are: ink remanufacturing and water purification factories in Freetown and a solar charging kiosk in kailahun. Other micro businesses created by UNIDO under Dr Yumkella are all over the Country which continue to create jobs for hundreds of youth.
6. SOLAR LIGHT PROJECT
This project was initiated by Dr Yumkella and funded by UNIDO as a pilot project in Kambia to provide basic lighting for pupils to study at night, for health centres, apprenticeship workshops, mosques, schools, churches and other public buildings. Support in the form of equipment was also provided for the Barefoot Women’s College in Kontaline under this project to help promote Rural Electrification.
7. THE QUALITY CONTROL LAB AT KISSY
UNIDO under Dr Yumkella funded the setting up of a National Quality Control Policy for Sierra Leone, established a fully operational Micro-Biological and Chemical Testing Laboratory, Overseas training for Sierra Leoneans to run these labs and the construction of a Metrology Laboratory at Kissy, Freetown.
All these facilities at a total cost of 8 million dollars for the ECOWAS wide project have helped add value to our fishery and other products, and has now made it possible for Sierra Leone to realized greater income from her food, cash crop and marine exports.
8. HYDRO ELECTRIC POWER CENTRE AT FOURAH BAY COLLEGE
The 150 thousand dollar Hydro Electric Power Centre was built by UNIDO for engineering students of FBC under Dr Yumkella. It will help train future hydro engineers in the University’s Engineering Faculty. Two Solar Centres were also established by UNIDO under Dr Yumkella to provide 24 hour lighting for the libraries and to also power computer labs for internet facilities for both Njala and FBC.
9. THE CREST PROGRAMME
Under the Community Resilience through Entrepreneurship and Skills Training (CREST) programme, UNIDO under Dr Yumkella established a skill and business training centre in Kambia for vulnerable youth and women in local food processing, value addition, micro finance, computer skills and other apprenticeships. Since its inception, over 1,000 youth have been empowered in micro finance and marketable skills.
The above list was compiled by the KKY-Movement FBC Chapter. In their words, “We believe in Dr Yumkella’s exceptional diplomatic skills, intellect and unparalleled integrity and compassion for the people of sierra Leone. With such character and charisma possessed by KKY, I believe he is the right captain to steer the ship of this country from it current situation to a much better sierra Leone where every state institution would be performing well at a higher pace. Also restructuring the cramble good governance and settle for a level playing ground for all sierra Leonean.”