FALLING WALL SUPPORTS SCIENCE GROUND-BREAKING PROJECTS

0
82

By Uzman Unis Bah

Science Engagement is crucial for solving global challenges, producing seamless solutions to the enduring problems affecting our planet, from pandemics to technology; experts at the berlin science conference discuss action-oriented projects that reflect on Science Engagement challenges and solutions.

Falling Walls Engage, hosted by the Falling Walls Foundation in cooperation with Robert Bosch Stiftung, is a global platform for Science Engagement that aims to inspire and connect creative individuals and organizations who actively involve the public with science to generate mutual benefits for society, all around the world.

The Quality Manager at Falling Walls Engage & International Year of Science Engagement (IYSE), Ana Faustino, said science would only be made accessible to everyone through Science Engagement. “Science Engagement consists, in involving individuals outside of the scientific community in science initiatives, to contribute to improved science literacy, wellbeing and informed decision-making in society,” said Ana.

Falling Walls Foundation coordinates the Falling Walls Engage and the Berlin Science Week, a 10-day international festival, customarily from November 1st to 10th. The occasion brings together the most innovative scientific organizations to celebrate science and creates a space for an open and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and information.

In the year 2021, projects developed by the Falling Walls Engage community members Ana Faustino, Bernard Appiah, Julian Ferreras, Kyerewaa Boateng and Stephanie Okeyo – tackled the challenges of the institutionalization of Science Engagement.

Ana said Science journalism is one of the ways to make sure the public, industry leaders and policymakers understand, appreciate and trust the deftness. Promoting science literacy and dialogue in helping tackle the global societal challenges of our time. “Regarding the future of science journalism, in my opinion, science journalism should focus more and more on speaking about world problems and presenting scientific solutions to tackle them,” mentioned Ana.

In addressing pandemics, conducting sensitizations, diagnostic tests, developing vaccines, science actions are decisive. The one health approach, which brings agriculture, human, and animal health experts together to research diseases, a prerequisite for public health responses, vastly owing to science engagements.

Science engagement is two-way communication, and feedback to the communities is indispensable. Scientists do not know it all. “To understand how communities’ function and perceive science, we need to plan, co-design, and share decisions,” posited Ana.

Kyerewaa Boateng, A research scientist at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), University of Ghana, uses a science engagement toolkit, a docu-drama engaging the hearing impaired, their families, and neighbourhoods in Ghana. 

The performances aim at engaging the deaf students and their families; it also engages researchers to strengthen genetics research to address the issue of the hearing impaired. As a science engagement specialist, the falling walls engage community has connected her to other science engagers who are equally finding solutions to challenges in their communities. 

Julian Ferreras, a scientist at the Institute of Subtropical Biology (UNaM-CONICET) and a professor at the Misiones National University, in Northeastern Argentina, currently focusing his research on drug discovery from natural products. According to Julian, there are many approaches, strategies, and formats for science engagements, noting that empathy is the primary requirement to establish any successful connection. 

Ferreras states that science engagement is crucial in supporting the development of Africa and the southern continent. He mentioned, science engagement will support the development of the continent, but it is a requirement. 

Microbiologist and Science Communicator – Stephanie Okeyo’s Climate Change series project aims to Break the wall of climate change scepticism, making the issue of climate change more relatable to the day to day activities and giving evidence-based data and educating and promoting action on climate change. 

“Inspiring scientific artistry collaborations.”

Science engagement is all about bridging the gap between science and society, and the media is a powerful tool for facilitating this aspect. “Science and innovation are essential components of development for a young continent such as Africa; this process not only involves supporting research and development that tackle the most pressing community challenges but also creates an environment that enables young people to be entrepreneurs and encourages the uptake of sustainable homegrown solutions,” Okeyo said. 

Dr Bernard Appiah, the Director, Research Program in Health Communication and Public Engagement (H-COPE), Department of Public Health, Syracuse University, USA, notes, “Science engagement could make the public aware of innovative arts-based approaches to change their behaviour positively to prevent and address novel epidemics.” 

Dr Appiah, who also serves as the Director – of the Centre for Science and Health Communication in Ghana, exploits his winning project in addressing Antimicrobial resistance. 

Appiah employs the potential of using storytelling and picture-drawing to improve knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of school children aged 11-15 in Ghana, raising awareness of Antimicrobial resistance. 

Antimicrobial resistance occurs due to the misuse of medicines, including antibiotics. Prevalent these days, Bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to drugs making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

Dr Appiah cited the COVID-19 outbreak; regarded science engagement as critical in helping the public know how to take preventive measures such as washing hands with soap and water, getting vaccinated, and how to prevent spreading the disease.

Appiah states that Science engagement can lead to innovative approaches such as storytelling, picture drawing, dialogues and songs for tackling animal to human disease transmissions. 

KENEMA YOUTHS LEARN ABOUT LAND MATTERS

By Abdul Fonti

The Minister of Lands Housing and Country Planning Dr. Turad Senesie continues to exhibit his grassroots tendencies by taking the land administration and management campaign to grassroot bases in different parts of the country.

Within the last two weeks, he has visited, consulted, lectured, dinned and wined with over twenty (20) grassroot bases in Kenema and Sierra Rutile as part of a mission to engage young people across the country to keep them in tune with His Excellency’s activities and broad agenda for the citizens of Sierra Leone.

In Kenema for example, the Minister, led by the SLPP District Chairman, stormed and had interesting sessions with young people at various localities including Lambayama Youth Association, Obama Ataya Base, FIFA Ataya Base, Noble Ataya Base, House of Pain, the Great Women Group, Ahmadiyya Car Wash Association and Kpayama Youth Organization among others.

During these on-the-spot visits, a platform was created to listen to the concerns of the indigenes and residents, who equally expressed appreciation over the nation’s development strides under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio.

Similar sessions were held in Sierra Rutile just last weekend.

Dr. Turad Senesie is effectively using the sessions to let the citizens understand the new focus in the lands, housing and country planning sector, with a general objective to restore and maintain sanity in the sector that has been marred with controversies and corruption for decades.

He called on the youth to put hands on deck to support the systematic and sustainable development trajectory that will benefit every Sierra Leonean in the not too distant future.

He encouraged his audience to continue to believe in President Bio and his team, as according to him, the SLPP government is the only realistic option and solution for the problems affecting Sierra Leone.

He also used the forum as an opportunity to remind the youth of the various development programs being undertaken by the government including the free quality education, enhancement of freedom of expression, youth and women’s empowerment and also the fierce fight against corruption.

FCC Launches Healthy Cities Project 

The Freetown City Council (FCC) has launched the partnership for Healthy Cities project in collaboration with the Directorate of Nutrition, Ministry of Health and Parene Healthcare.

Through this project, we will be supporting market women in six markets to reduce their sodium intake and in turn help reduce their chances of developing non-communicable in the long run. With technical support from the Directorate of Nutrition, we have developed nutritional guidelines for all literacy levels which will be used by market vendors to reduce salt in their meals.

The project is being implemented with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies through Vital Strategies. The launch of the project marks Freetown’s official joining of a prestigious global network of 70 cities committed to saving lives by preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs)—such as hypertension or diabetes—and injuries.

In Freetown, non-communicable diseases have been neglected for far too long; so much so that data on the prevalence of non-communicable diseases is almost non-existent. Several small studies indicate the prevalence of hypertension among about 40% of urban residents, with diabetes not far behind at 30%. Data made available from screenings in markets suggests that the prevalence of hypertension amongst vendors is as high as 60% in certain markets. All of these support anecdotes from health practitioners who have helped develop our #TransformFreetown health target 2 – “Increase by 20% the adoption of healthy behaviours to reduce specific non-communicable conditions by 2022”.

I was happy to have Cllr Aminata Gibril Sesay (Chairperson Health Committee), other councilors, representatives of the Nutrition Directorate, Juliet Laverley of Parene Healthcare and some of the chairpersons of the 6 markets (Kroo Town Road, Garrison Street, Lumley, Congo Town, Portee and Wellington) join me at the launch of the program.

KAMARAINBE CO-ACCUSED GETS BAIL

Through a press release, the Judiciary of Sierra Leone has informed the general public that Marion Arouni, co-accused to Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray has fulfilled the requirements contained in the bail conditions.

Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray and co-accused, Marion Arouni are before the Sexual Offences Model Court presided over by one of the Appeal Court Judges, Hon. Justice Samuel O. Taylor. They were granted bail on Tuesday, 7th September 2021.

Accused Marion Arouni was brought before the Court to answer to 2 Counts of Conspiracy and Aiding and Abetting.

The Bail Conditions were as follows:

1. Bail granted in the sum of 100 Million Leones and two Sureties in like sum.

2. One Surety must be a house owner with property situated in the Western area of the Republic of Sierra Leone and should produce an original Title Deed to the Master and Registrar

3. Sureties should produce proof of Residence, ID Cards, Passport pictures, and the Accused person should deposit same to the Master and Registrar.

4. She must report two times in a week to the Master and Registrar and sign the Attendance book reserved for this purpose.

5. She must deposit to the Master and Registrar all travelling documents both foreign and national.

Pursuant to the above, the two Sureties Ali Kargbo and Osman Conteh met all the conditions after a thorough scrutiny and vetting to ensure total compliance.

As maliciously claimed by those who are misusing the Social Media, the Master and Registrar, is readily willing to process or approve accused persons admitted to Bail as long as the conditions contained in Judge’s Order are met.

The Judiciary further wishes to inform the public that some months ago, it discovered 29 fake sureties with fake documents submitted to the Master and Registrar’s office. This act is not only criminal but also inimical to expeditious trials and the dispensation of Justice.

BSL Governor Says Bribery is No Corruption’

Sierra Leone Bank Governor Professor Kelfala Kallon has made it openly clear that, he utilized Sixty Eight Million United States Dollars ($68,000,000) to bribe certain individuals using tax payers money.

This is a clear conclusion that, there is a very strong cartel, syndicate and criminal racketeering within the Bank of Sierra Leone. Money’s that are meant for development purposes are now in the hands of certain individuals.

Sierra Leone Anti Corruption Commission is doing nothing to apprehend this corrupt offender Professor Kelfala Kallon. The aforementioned offense by law in itself is prisonable.

All what we are going through is as a result of what the former Chief Minister Professor David Francis aka Mr. 1% said “use 99% and put 1% in your pocket. Corruption has been legalized in Sierra Leone.

S/LEONE STUDENTS IN CHINA GOES WITHOUT 2020 ALLOWANCE…  

STUDENTS CRY TO PRESIDENT BIO FOR HELP

Government scholarship Students in China who are also not allowed to work as per Chinese law, are yet to receive their 2020 annual allowances from the Sierra Leone government.

This sad incident has left the defenseless students in China hopeless as their colleagues in Russia received theirs.  The million dollar question all students are asking to know is whether Ministry of Technical and Higher Education is still thinking about them , because this type of delay had never happened in history.

It is also worthy to know that the 2020 Students allowance was supposed to be in the 2020 annual budget which is normally presented to parliament in 2019. The reason for this dramatic delay is also a cause for investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Students in China are pleading to president Bio who is their only source of hope now to kind

This sad incident has left the defenseless students in China hopeless as their colleagues in Russia received theirs.  The million dollar question all students are asking to know is whether Ministry of Technical and Higher Education is still thinking about them, because this type of delay had never happened in history.

It is also worthy to know that the 2020 Students allowance was supposed to be in the 2020 annual budget which is normally presented to parliament in 2019. The reason for this dramatic delay is also a cause for investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Students in China are pleading to president Bio who is their only source of hope now to kindly intervene in this matter so they can have their 2020 allowance and to prevent further delays for subsequent allowances.

WHY THE LUNGI BRIDGE IS NOT CAPTURED IN THE NATIONAL BUDGET FOR 2022

-Hon. Ibrahim Aziz Bangura

The Hon. Member of Parliament representing the people of constituency 076 Port Loko District Hon. Ibrahim Aziz Bangura has on Wednesday 24th November 2021at the Chamber of Parliament   questioned and comments regarding the failures of the current government  to capture the construction and commencement of the Lungi bridge into the National Budget for 2022 as was promised by the president

 The Hon. Member reminded the House that the promise is a policy statement made by president Bio for the construction of the Lungi bridge. He said the people of Lungi are so anxious for the commencement of the bridge “it is a policy statement by the president and we need the bridge “, he asserted.

The honorable member  made this calls whilst he was debating the National Budget for 2022 at the Chamber of Parliament

 In his contribution also, he expressed dissatisfaction with the frequent electricity stoppages in the township “it is very horrible to see darkness in the face of people coming to Sierra Leone internationally”, he affirmed.

He called on the Central Government to actualize promises made to the people of Lugia for the construction of several roads linking the township to be fulfilled; adding that since those promises were made a single street has not been constructed by this government.

On Tourism, he called on the government to lay a premium on uniting the coexistence of the people and not to divide them; adding that it would attract tourists into the country with positive image building. “It is good for the tourism sector and it can generate revenue for the state”, he said.

In the  area of the agriculture sector, he said billions of Leones have been allocated to small farmer enterprises and urged for some of these resources to be beneficial for farmers planting onion production at Lungi and Koinadugu District

On a person with disabilities, he commended the government for the allocation of resources to persons with a disability.

The themed of the budget: “building resilience for inclusive green recovery”. and the said Bill is seeking authorization of expenditure from the consolidated fund for the year 2022 and to provide for other related matters.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here