I was stunned because I recall during an earlier visit to Chief Sam Sumana at his residence in February 2013, he had pointed at exactly that spot and told me that if they don’t stop cutting and burning down trees on that hill, an environmental disaster will happen. I never realized all this time that Mortomeh indeed happened at the exact spot Chief Sam Sumana had shown me 5 years ago!
Back then in 2013, like a soothsayer, Chief Sam Sumana had told me that he was scared of the wanton manner in which the environment was being abused. He even firmly had said that apart from policy measures he had been working on implementing, he took a personal leadership decision so that at any time he noticed people cutting down trees or burning trees across on those parts, he would personally send his security men to go across there and enforce the removal of those who were engaged in such. He also had lamented on other challenges in that aspect of protecting the environment in those mountainous areas. That was 5 years ago!
Standing there, I felt goosebumps. It is quite intriguing and surely was an interesting feeling to stand there in awe this morning and watch the disaster site whilst I recalled his words of 5 years ago to me.
I requested for him and I to take a selfie photo inside his compound at a spot from where the MORTOMEH disaster can be seen in the background. Chief Sam Sumana graciously agreed to take the photos with me.