By Bai-Bai Sesay – Director of Bunce Island Coalition, Professor Joseph Opala, has said the coalition with pledges of five million dollar will soon start the project for the historical rehabilitation and preservation of the BunceIsland in the country. He made this statement on Thursday 11th November 2010 at a press briefing held at the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in Freetown.
In his statement, Professor Opala said the aim of the project is to showcase the important of the Sierra Leonean culture, noting that this will help foreign visitors to know the history of BunceIsland. He said BunceIsland is a slave castle built in order to facilitate the Atlantic Slave Trade on the coast of West Africa, noting that the British Slave Traders operated in this island from 1668 to 1807.
Professor Opala said during its 140 years of operation, BunceIsland sent about 30,000 men, women, and children to slavery on plantation in West Indies and North America.
“BounceIsland had been operating for more than 100 years and Freetown was founded in 1787 and the castle was originally named BunceIsland but was later called BenseIsland, GeorgeIsland, BunceIsland and finally BunceIsland”, he said
He called on the public to embrace this project as it will help to improve the socio-economic growth, adding that the project will also attract Africans and Americans who want to visit the island to know their countries of origin.