Making History

Kenema City, Sierra Leone
July 26, 2017

By Richard Bockarie—Computing

I am Richard Bockarie, born in Sierra Leone, and holder of a Bachelors Degree (Honours) in Computer Science from Njala University, Freetown [2013]. I have much field experience on data projects in Africa. In Ghana, I was involved in a project that involved citywide profiling of informal settlements in Accra in 2014. In Liberia, in 2015, I trained 50 surveyors to profile the West Point and Slip Way settlements in Monrovia city. Also in 2015, I attended a data forum program in Kenya. Here we developed tools for Slum Dwellers International. In 2016, I launched a citywide profile of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

I’m currently working with the WAMM2017 project, supporting with computing and QGIS. For the past four years, I have worked in several African countries, implementing projects. With all my experience, working with WAMM has been exceptional. The WAMM project is not just research work to be kept in the cabinet, but it is aimed at saving lives. I’ve witnessed the data used at hospital levels.

Ivan Gayton’s initiative is really good, because getting up to date data in Sierra Leone is a problem; particularly where it has to do with provinces. That was one factor that led to the Ebola virus going out of control, and contact tracing was very difficult.

I decided to work on this project not just for financial gains, but because I believe this is what we lack as a country. In my opinion we are making history. The people of Kenema and Kailahun District will always be indebted to Ivan and all others who make this project a success.

I also hope this project can be extended to the entire country.