By Aruna Turay
President Julius Maada Bio has ordered for an immediate investigation into the allocation of all lands beyond the “Green Belt” at the GumaValley Water Facility at Mile 13.
The president over the weekend inspected the Facility which has been affected by deforestation and land grabbing and described his visit as a sad day.
Recently, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA),Republic of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), the National Protected Area Authority (NPAA) and the Ministry of Public and Political Affairs raided individuals who have been illegally burning the forest reserve within the Guma Dam.
About two months ago, the World Food Programme (WFP), through a request made by NDMA, hired the services of a consultant to assess the risk Guma Dam is exposed to using high-tech drone technology. According to his Report, there are new established settlements because of rapid deforestation and land acquisition by locals at a close proximity to the Dam from various ends.
The Report also points out that about 2,850 hectares (5,550) acres of land have been captured as settlement areas close to the Dam, where water level is considered as the lowest in history which is currently on layer four.
About 40% of the surface area within the perimeter of the Dam has been compromised.