No Image
Location Title

 

 
 
 
 
 
   LOCATION AND PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TONKOLILI DISTRICT
 
Tonkolili District is found in the northern region of Sierra Leone. It is centrally located in the country with the country’s center found at Yele in the Gbonkolenken chiefdom. It shares boundaries with seven out of the other eleven districts. It is bounded in the north by Koinadugu, East by Kono and Kenema, South by Bo and Moyamba, West by Potloko and northwest by Bombali.
 
The district comprises 11 chiefdoms with Magburaka as District Head Quarter and Mile 91 being the commercial center. It occupies a total space of 7,003 km. The main ethnic groups are Temne, Limba and Kuranko.   The District is predominantly Muslim with a Christian minority.
 
 Relief:
The district has two main relief belts: a) Highlands and b) lowlands.
 
The highland belt occupies mainly the northern region up to the eastern part of the district. Chiefdoms in this belt are Kafe Simera, Kalasongoia, Sambaia Bendugu and parts of Konike Barina and Konike. The highlands rise up to 700 feet and higher at Sambaia Bendugu chiefdom. It is from these hills that the major rivers in the district have their sources.
 
The rest of the district is lowland comprising the boli lands and occupies a greater part of the district. The boli lands stretch from Kholifa Rowalla, Kholifa Mabang, and Malal/Mara and Yoni chiefdoms. These are appropriate ecologies for rice production, hence the importance of the area for rice production.
 
   Drainage:
There are two main drainage basins:
i)        The Rokel basin with the river Rokel as the main river, starts from the Wara hills in the Koinadugu district and flows through to the Atlantic Ocean. This is the longest river in Sierra Leone which also contains the Bumbuna waterfalls.
ii) The Pampana river basin with the Pampana River starts from Lake Sonfon also in Koinadugu district and flows down through Tonkolili district to Moyamba district where it is known as the Taia.
These rivers are very useful to the district as the Bumbuna waterfalls, which are presently being harnessed for hydroelectric power found at the Rokel River. Water from this river is also used for irrigation at the Magbass Sugar Plantation. Both rivers and their tributaries are useful for gold mining and of course for domestic use.
 
  Climate:
The Tonkolili Dsitrict, in common with the rest of Sierra Leone, experiences a wet semi equatorial climate with two seasons, the rainy season which starts in May and ends in October and the dry season which starts in November and ends in April.
 
 
 Vegetation:
The Tonkolili District was once forested but due to man’s action only a small part of the district is now forested mainly in the south and northwestern areas whilst the rest, especially in the lowland areas is grasslands.
 
  Industries:
Tonkolili District has two major industries:
i) The Magbass sugar complex, which produces sugar and ethanol. It provides employment for a good number of people especially youths within the district, hence contributing to peace and economic growth in the region.
ii) The Gari factory at Robinke, which provides market for cassava and also employment for people especially women.
There are other small-scale industries such as tailoring, carpentry, weaving, blacksmithing, gara tie-dye and soap making.
 
  Trade:
Trade is very active in the district. There was a market structure in each chiefdom headquarters town but most of these have been destroyed during the civil war. The growing need for locally produced and manufactured goods has resulted in the emergence of weekly markets commonly called “Loumas”. Traders move from one “looma” point to another in specific days within the week.
 
. Geology and soils
The soils are mainly lateritic in nature. High rates of leaching in the grassland areas in the north and northwestern regions of the district have resulted in reducing the fertility levels of the soils and rendering them less productive except with the use of fertilizers.
. Natural Resources
 
The District is endowed with the following resources for development:
Ø      The ongoing Bumbuna Hydro-electric system,
Ø      Mini hydro-electric system at Makali and Yele,
Ø      Iron ore reserves at Ferengbia,
Ø      Game reserve at Mamunta,
Ø      Magbass sugar production and refinery complex,
Ø      Vast productive boili and IVS ecologies,
Ø      Fishing in the rivers rokel and Pampana basins,
Ø      Tourism at the Korbana beach at the Rokel River in Malal/Mara chiefdom,
Ø      Existence of underground water resources which has been harnessed to provide water supplies to communities,
Ø      Gold mining activities in some chiefdom.
 
 
 
 
 
 POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
 
According to the 2004 Census Statistics, Tonkolili District has a population of 345,884. It is the third highest among the twelve districts in the country. The result for the country nation-wide is 4,963,298 of which 1,714,790 1s captured for the Northern Region.
 
 Household size:
 
The 2004 Population and Housing census shows that the average household size in the District is 6.46. However, there are variations in the household size distribution in the District, ranging between 4 and17.
 
        ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION:
 
Several years back, the district was covered with thick forests. However, due to increase in farming population and with the slash and burn method of shifting cultivation over the years, the forests have gradually given way to grass lands which now dominate a greater part of the north western region of the district in Malal Mara, Kholifa Mabang, Upper Yoni, Tane and Kholifa Rowalla chiefdoms. Soil erosion is being accelerated in these areas due to bare soils, which has caused rapid decline in soil fertility now having a direct effect on farm yields, which have increasingly become low. Additionally, due to the depletion of forests, forest products such as building materials and herbs for traditional medicines are becoming very scarce. There is therefore the need to promote programmes involving the planting of fast growing and nitrogen fixing trees to quickly re-establish the forests, replenish soil fertility and provide the much needed tree products that are very essential especially during this time of reconstruction.
 
Additionally, the need for the establishment of small to large scale plantation of economic fruit trees is now becoming more of a felt need than before as it is evident that those who left behind small plantations when displaced by the war were able to economically recover faster through the selling of harvested produce than those without. This feeling is compatible with the findings of the field assessment conducted. Many people are now putting emphasis on planting permanent fruit tree crops as they see it as long-term investment, which cannot be easily destroyed even in time of war; besides they see these plantations as insurance for old age. Assistance to communities in promoting fruit tree plantations agriculture will support their medium to long-term economic revival and sustenance.
 
The plan will diversify and expand tree and cash crop production and promote allied commercialization and income generating opportunities.
The activities here will include the:
 
§         Rehabilitation and expansion of existing small holder tree crop farms
§         Introduction and promotion of new species and varieties of economic tree crops
§         Introduction and promotion of new production and plantation management technologies
§         Development and increasing of producer access to market information systems on the commodities
§         Improvement of market linkages and commercialisation
§         Introduction and promotion of efficient value-adding post-harvest/processing technologies for expanded marketing and utilisation of products that meet international export standards.
 
 The plan will also enhance sustainable utilization, conservation and productivity of forest resources and will be involved in the following activities:
 
§         Collect baseline data on forest reserves and forest biodiversity
§         Monitor and protect forest reserves and protected forests
§         Promote the development and adaptation of improved forest trees.
§         Establish mechanism for harvesting and replenishment of forest resources on a sustainable yield basis
§         Protect watersheds to sustain lowland water duty for agriculture and conservation.
§         Promote the development of wildlife sanctuaries
§         Promote agro-forestry and community woodlots
§         Institute effective measures for environmental protection and bush fire control,
§         Promote afforestation and reforestation.
 
Since the suspension of Local Government in 1972, Sierra Leone has been governed directly from the Center through various government ministries. The suspension was allegedly due to rampant corruption and inefficiency. The role of the paramount chiefs and chiefdom administration was limited mainly to settling disputes, protecting land and supporting Ministries and other Government functionaries in translating Government policies and laws. This encouraged little or no participation of the local people in deciding what they want and what happens to them. Over centralized administrations became the hallmark of government in the country, which brought about bad governance; gross misplacement of priorities, poor service delivery, mismanagement and overall backwardness of the country. The effect of this was the 11-year brutal civil war, which raged from 1991 –2001.
 
As a result of the numerous problems associated with the centralized governance, the democratically elected Government of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, following elections victory in 1996 and 2002, saw the need to re-institute the local government, decentralize power and authority as a means of addressing the anomalies prevalent in the centralized governance.
 
The Tonkolili District Council currently comprises 28 wards. 28 ward councilors are elected, 2 paramount chief councilors nominated as ex-officio members in council and a district Chairman elected district-wide to chair the affairs of Council. This gives a total of 31 Local Council functionaries with political authority.  
 
To aid the work of the council, various committees have been formed among which are:
Ø      Technical planning committee,
Ø      Development and planning committee,
Ø      Education committee,
Ø      Health committee,
Ø      Ward Development Committee,
Ø      Monitoring and evaluation committee/ Community based monitoring group
Ø      Establishment Committee,
Ø      Agriculture committee.
Each of these committees meets regularly to address issues relating to them. Subsequently, decisions from such meetings are submitted to council for discussions and clarifications before being acted upon.
 
 
 
 
2.2.      LOCATION AND PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TONKOLILI DISTRICT
 
Tonkolili District is found in the northern region of Sierra Leone. It is centrally located in the country with the country’s center found at Yele in the Gbonkolenken chiefdom. It shares boundaries with seven out of the other eleven districts. It is bounded in the north by Koinadugu, East by Kono and Kenema, South by Bo and Moyamba, West by Potloko and northwest by Bombali.
 
The district comprises 11 chiefdoms with Magburaka as District Head Quarter and Mile 91 being the commercial center. It occupies a total space of 7,003 km. The main ethnic groups are Temne, Limba and Kuranko.   The District is predominantly Muslim with a Christian minority.
 
2.2.1.   Relief:
The district has two main relief belts: a) Highlands and b) lowlands.
 
The highland belt occupies mainly the northern region up to the eastern part of the district. Chiefdoms in this belt are Kafe Simera, Kalasongoia, Sambaia Bendugu and parts of Konike Barina and Konike. The highlands rise up to 700 feet and higher at Sambaia Bendugu chiefdom. It is from these hills that the major rivers in the district have their sources.
 
The rest of the district is lowland comprising the boli lands and occupies a greater part of the district. The boli lands stretch from Kholifa Rowalla, Kholifa Mabang, and Malal/Mara and Yoni chiefdoms. These are appropriate ecologies for rice production, hence the importance of the area for rice production.
 
2.2.2.   Drainage:
There are two main drainage basins:
i)        The Rokel basin with the river Rokel as the main river, starts from the Wara hills in the Koinadugu district and flows through to the Atlantic Ocean. This is the longest river in Sierra Leone which also contains the Bumbuna waterfalls.
ii) The Pampana river basin with the Pampana River starts from Lake Sonfon also in Koinadugu district and flows down through Tonkolili district to Moyamba district where it is known as the Taia.
These rivers are very useful to the district as the Bumbuna waterfalls, which are presently being harnessed for hydroelectric power found at the Rokel River. Water from this river is also used for irrigation at the Magbass Sugar Plantation. Both rivers and their tributaries are useful for gold mining and of course for domestic use.
 
2.2.3.   Climate:
The Tonkolili Dsitrict, in common with the rest of Sierra Leone, experiences a wet semi equatorial climate with two seasons, the rainy season which starts in May and ends in October and the dry season which starts in November and ends in April.
 
 
2.2.4.  Vegetation:
The Tonkolili District was once forested but due to man’s action only a small part of the district is now forested mainly in the south and northwestern areas whilst the rest, especially in the lowland areas is grasslands.
 
2.2.5.   Industries:
Tonkolili District has two major industries:
i) The Magbass sugar complex, which produces sugar and ethanol. It provides employment for a good number of people especially youths within the district, hence contributing to peace and economic growth in the region.
ii) The Gari factory at Robinke, which provides market for cassava and also employment for people especially women.
There are other small-scale industries such as tailoring, carpentry, weaving, blacksmithing, gara tie-dye and soap making.
 
2.2.6.   Trade:
Trade is very active in the district. There was a market structure in each chiefdom headquarters town but most of these have been destroyed during the civil war. The growing need for locally produced and manufactured goods has resulted in the emergence of weekly markets commonly called “Loumas”. Traders move from one “looma” point to another in specific days within the week.
 
 2.2.7. Geology and soils
The soils are mainly lateritic in nature. High rates of leaching in the grassland areas in the north and northwestern regions of the district have resulted in reducing the fertility levels of the soils and rendering them less productive except with the use of fertilizers.
 
 2.2.8. Natural Resources
 
The District is endowed with the following resources for development:
Ø      The ongoing Bumbuna Hydro-electric system,
Ø      Mini hydro-electric system at Makali and Yele,
Ø      Iron ore reserves at Ferengbia,
Ø      Game reserve at Mamunta,
Ø      Magbass sugar production and refinery complex,
Ø      Vast productive boili and IVS ecologies,
Ø      Fishing in the rivers rokel and Pampana basins,
Ø      Tourism at the Korbana beach at the Rokel River in Malal/Mara chiefdom,
Ø      Existence of underground water resources which has been harnessed to provide water supplies to communities,
Ø      Gold mining activities in some chiefdom.
 
 
 
 
 
2.3. POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
 
According to the 2004 Census Statistics, Tonkolili District has a population of 345,884. It is the third highest among the twelve districts in the country. The result for the country nation-wide is 4,963,298 of which 1,714,790 1s captured for the Northern Region.
 
2.3.1 Household size:
 
The 2004 Population and Housing census shows that the average household size in the District is 6.46. However, there are variations in the household size distribution in the District, ranging between 4 and17.
 
2.4.            ENVIRONMENTAL SITUATION:
 
Several years back, the district was covered with thick forests. However, due to increase in farming population and with the slash and burn method of shifting cultivation over the years, the forests have gradually given way to grass lands which now dominate a greater part of the north western region of the district in Malal Mara, Kholifa Mabang, Upper Yoni, Tane and Kholifa Rowalla chiefdoms. Soil erosion is being accelerated in these areas due to bare soils, which has caused rapid decline in soil fertility now having a direct effect on farm yields, which have increasingly become low. Additionally, due to the depletion of forests, forest products such as building materials and herbs for traditional medicines are becoming very scarce. There is therefore the need to promote programmes involving the planting of fast growing and nitrogen fixing trees to quickly re-establish the forests, replenish soil fertility and provide the much needed tree products that are very essential especially during this time of reconstruction.
 
Additionally, the need for the establishment of small to large scale plantation of economic fruit trees is now becoming more of a felt need than before as it is evident that those who left behind small plantations when displaced by the war were able to economically recover faster through the selling of harvested produce than those without. This feeling is compatible with the findings of the field assessment conducted. Many people are now putting emphasis on planting permanent fruit tree crops as they see it as long-term investment, which cannot be easily destroyed even in time of war; besides they see these plantations as insurance for old age. Assistance to communities in promoting fruit tree plantations agriculture will support their medium to long-term economic revival and sustenance.
 
The plan will diversify and expand tree and cash crop production and promote allied commercialization and income generating opportunities.
The activities here will include the:
 
§         Rehabilitation and expansion of existing small holder tree crop farms
§         Introduction and promotion of new species and varieties of economic tree crops
§         Introduction and promotion of new production and plantation management technologies
§         Development and increasing of producer access to market information systems on the commodities
§         Improvement of market linkages and commercialisation
§         Introduction and promotion of efficient value-adding post-harvest/processing technologies for expanded marketing and utilisation of products that meet international export standards.
 
 The plan will also enhance sustainable utilization, conservation and productivity of forest resources and will be involved in the following activities:
 
§         Collect baseline data on forest reserves and forest biodiversity
§         Monitor and protect forest reserves and protected forests
§         Promote the development and adaptation of improved forest trees.
§         Establish mechanism for harvesting and replenishment of forest resources on a sustainable yield basis
§         Protect watersheds to sustain lowland water duty for agriculture and conservation.
§         Promote the development of wildlife sanctuaries
§         Promote agro-forestry and community woodlots
§         Institute effective measures for environmental protection and bush fire control,
§         Promote afforestation and reforestation.