Makari Market a ‘White Elephant’ project

Abandoned market

By: Mohamed Papa Bangura in Makeni 

The Makarie Market in Makarie Town, Makarie Chiefdom Bombali District was constructed by Africa Minerals (AML) in 2012. It was one of the company’s cooperate social responsibilities to the people of Makarie Chiefdom. 

According to the Town Chief of Makarie Pa Abdullai Conteh, the Market was one of the felt needs outlined to Africa Minerals Limited (AML) for support in 2011 plus a senior secondary school. But AML chosed the Market and constructed it in 2012. Since then, the people have not been able to make use of the facility. 

“As a Town Chief I have encouraged the women to start selling in the Market but no one is listening. They most times say they don’t have money to sell in the Market. A business man called Jalloh visited us three years ago and promised to start a business here. He even put up a small fence in the market but since he left, we have not heard anything from him again” he said.  “I don’t have the capital to start a business here but I don’t want this facility to continue to waste” 

Adamsay Kanu, the Women’s Leader of Makarie Town said the Market is a felt need but the women do not have money to start businesses.  “we cannot risk selling our local produce in the Market. What if travelers or cars do not stop by, our goods will perish” she said.

Adamsay said she has a small shop in the town, but she cannot take it to the Market because nobody is willing to go there. “we are calling on entrepreneurs to come to our aid and Government to help us with some loans so that we can start business here or else it will remain like this forever” she said. 

Makarie is about 7Miles outside Makeni City along the Freetown, Makeni high way. Youths of Makrie are notable for their stone mining for their livelihoods. Africa Minerals owned by Romanian Frank Timis was operating in Sierra Leone doing business in the mines. Their office closed in 2014 because of the fall in the price of iron ore in the world market leaving behind huge debts with local contractors. 

Makari Market a ‘White Elephant’ project
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