The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu B. Pratt visited the mudslide site at Regent on Friday, May 18th, 2018.
The essence of the visit was to observe the present situation in the site after almost two years and with the aim of transforming the mudslide site into a memorial site which will serve as a touristic attraction and also as a place to provide a space for those who lost their relatives during the August 14th 2017 mudslide disaster.
She stated that the visit was also to know how they would be able to explore the possibilities of planting trees through UNOPS at the site.
‘’The site is very important in our history because after the war we were unable to develop a memorial place and we want to promote a touristic attraction area by establishing a park and a memorial site for people to visit’’ the Tourism Minister said. She mentioned that in Rwanda there is a genocide museum where people and tourists can visit to reflect on the ethnic war that led to the mass killing of people in that country.
‘’When you visit New York they will take you to the site where the 9-11 incident took place’’, the Tourism Minister said.
According to the Minister of Tourism, His Excellency, the President Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is very much concern that they should be able to transform and translate the site not only as a touristic area but also as a place where people can go and pay homage and respect to the dead.
She added that a prevention Disaster Agency Committee has been set up to work collectively in a bid to proffer solutions to further prevent the reoccurrence of the mudslide disaster at Regent. The minister also disclosed that they are going to embark on a community engagement and sensitization with the people who are still living within Regent for them to relocate to safe areas as climate change has a very huge impact that is unpredictable. She thanked DFID and the World Bank for their support and aid towards their effort of transforming their aspirations for the development of the said site.
In attendance of the visit at the Regent mudslide site were Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Dr.Memunatu Pratt, the Chief Minister Prof. David Francis ,Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Mr. Joseph Ndanema, the Minister of Lands and Country Planning Dr. Dennis Sandy, Environmental Protection Unit (EPA) Madam Jatu Jalloh, UNOPS Representatives, World Bank Representatives, National Association of Certified Tourists Guilds, The Media Units and some representatives of the Regent Community.
The Minister of Lands and Country planning, Dr. Dennis Sandy, said that they wanted the mudslide site to be a dedicated area where people will come and visit in remembrance of their lost families. Dr. Dennis Sandy disclosed that on Monday they will organize a meeting at State House in a bid to map out the way forward to prevent the reoccurrence of such a disaster in the future. He maintained that they were focusing on the issue of mitigating the disaster. ‘’Our visit has sent a message that our government cares’’ Dr. Sandy stated.