Punjab Hands Over Newly Constructed Barray to Accommodate Mourners in Kenema

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By: Patrick A Kai

Punjab Trading Center, a distillery company based in Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone, where it has been operating for quite a considerable period of time now, has on Tuesday 31st May 2022 handed over a newly constructed Barray to the mortuary department of the Kenema Government Hospital.

Giving an overview of the construction of the newly constructed sitting facility, the Manager of Punjab Trading Center, Victoria Vanday Bernard, informed stakeholders that even though profit maximization is their aim, however, they do not lose sight of their Corporate Social Responsibility underscoring how such is part of their social mandate as a business entity. She highlighted how the company also supports the education, agricultural sectors among others.

“The request for a Barray to the company was originally made by the Mayor of the Kenema City Council, Thomas Bayoh,” she disclosed furthering that as a company that is situated within the Nyanyawa Community of Kenema their intention was to implement the project within that vicinity but after several stakeholders’ engagements the company decided to implement the aforementioned project at the mortuary department which for years has been without any comfortable sitting accommodation for people whose deceased relatives, friends and other loved ones are in the facility to be handed over for burial.

She informed that they initially budgeted about Fifty Million Leones (Le 50,000,000.00) for the implementation of the project which started in November 2021 but stated that the budget had to be revisited due to skyrocketing prices of building materials and high payment for services rendered.

In his brief statement, the District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr. Donald Grant, first extended his profound appreciation to the Management of Punjab Trading Center and the Mayor of the Kenema City Council for facilitating the development process and the kind gesture.

He noted that no matter what commitment a Government can make it cannot provide all the needs the citizenry may require underscoring the importance of the role the private sector could play in enhancing development.

Dr. Donald mentioned how the leadership of the Kenema City Council was engaged and informed about the need for a place where mourners can wait until they are given clearance to collect the bodies of their deceased loved ones for interment.

The DMO continued that the Mayor assured of engaging companies in the township for the said project.

He emphasized that the implementation of the project is vital and timely, especially as the rains have started dropping and used the opportunity to call on other companies and stakeholders to emulate the positive move by Punjab Trading Center in terms of providing water tanks which would serve as reservoir for the mortuary as well as other facilities for the successful functionality of the hospital.

On his part, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Eastern Regional Manager lauded the company for undertaking such a project.

Abdul Bah maintained that they were informed about the project during its implementation phase and were paying periodic visits. He continued that during his visitations, he noted that it was truly the felt need of the people when he saw them sitting under the uncompleted ‘barray’ which was still under construction.

As the agency that regulates the distillery company, the Manager commended Punjab for adhering to rules and regulations.

He claimed that the hospital is the first to benefit from such a facility in the country and further pleaded with them to use the structure for its intended purpose and not to deprive mourners.

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