Seems like this area of Sierra Leone has lots of electricity - hydro. And looking on the map several major roads.
LOCATION AND PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TONKOLILI DISTRICT
Tonkolili District is found in the northern region of Sierra Leone. It is centrally located in the country with the country’s center found at Yele in the Gbonkolenken chiefdom. It shares boundaries with seven out of the other eleven districts. It is bounded in the north by Koinadugu, East by Kono and Kenema, South by Bo and Moyamba, West by Potloko and northwest by Bombali.
The district comprises 11 chiefdoms with Magburaka as District Head Quarter and Mile 91 being the commercial center. It occupies a total space of 7,003 km. The main ethnic groups are Temne, Limba and Kuranko. The District is predominantly Muslim with a Christian minority.
The district has two main relief belts: a) Highlands and b) lowlands.
The highland belt occupies mainly the northern region up to the eastern part of the district. Chiefdoms in this belt are Kafe Simera, Kalasongoia, Sambaia Bendugu and parts of Konike Barina and Konike. The highlands rise up to 700 feet and higher at Sambaia Bendugu chiefdom. It is from these hills that the major rivers in the district have their sources.
The rest of the district is lowland comprising the boli lands and occupies a greater part of the district. The boli lands stretch from Kholifa Rowalla, Kholifa Mabang, and Malal/Mara and Yoni chiefdoms. These are appropriate ecologies for rice production, hence the importance of the area for rice production.
There are two main drainage basins:
i) The Rokel basin with the river Rokel as the main river, starts from the Wara hills in the Koinadugu district and flows through to the Atlantic Ocean. This is the longest river in Sierra Leone which also contains the Bumbuna waterfalls.
ii) The Pampana river basin with the Pampana River starts from Lake Sonfon also in Koinadugu district and flows down through Tonkolili district to Moyamba district where it is known as the Taia.
These rivers are very useful to the district as the Bumbuna waterfalls, which are presently being harnessed for hydroelectric power found at the Rokel River. Water from this river is also used for irrigation at the Magbass Sugar Plantation. Both rivers and their tributaries are useful for gold mining and of course for domestic use.
The Tonkolili Dsitrict, in common with the rest of Sierra Leone, experiences a wet semi equatorial climate with two seasons, the rainy season which starts in May and ends in October and the dry season which starts in November and ends in April.
The Tonkolili District was once forested but due to man’s action only a small part of the district is now forested mainly in the south and northwestern areas whilst the rest, especially in the lowland areas is grasslands.
Tonkolili District has two major industries:
i) The Magbass sugar complex, which produces sugar and ethanol. It provides employment for a good number of people especially youths within the district, hence contributing to peace and economic growth in the region.
ii) The Gari factory at Robinke, which provides market for cassava and also employment for people especially women.
There are other small-scale industries such as tailoring, carpentry, weaving, blacksmithing, gara tie-dye and soap making.
Trade is very active in the district. There was a market structure in each chiefdom headquarters town but most of these have been destroyed during the civil war. The growing need for locally produced and manufactured goods has resulted in the emergence of weekly markets commonly called “Loumas”. Traders move from one “looma” point to another in specific days within the week.
2.2.7. Geology and soils
The soils are mainly lateritic in nature. High rates of leaching in the grassland areas in the north and northwestern regions of the district have resulted in reducing the fertility levels of the soils and rendering them less productive except with the use of fertilizers.
2.2.8. Natural Resources
The District is endowed with the following resources for development:
Ø The ongoing Bumbuna Hydro-electric system,
Ø Mini hydro-electric system at Makali and Yele,
Ø Iron ore reserves at Ferengbia,
Ø Game reserve at Mamunta,
Ø Magbass sugar production and refinery complex,
Ø Vast productive boili and IVS ecologies,
Ø Fishing in the rivers rokel and Pampana basins,
Ø Tourism at the Korbana beach at the Rokel River in Malal/Mara chiefdom,
Ø Existence of underground water resources which has been harnessed to provide water supplies to communities,
Ø Gold mining activities in some chiefdom.