Falaba, Koinadugu District was a favorite destination in the 19th century
Discover Sierra Leone
Falaba, the capital of the Sulima Chiefdom
in Koinadugu District, Northern Sierra Leone was a favorite destination for
diplomats and traders during most of the 19th century.
Situated at a major crossroads through which cattle,
gold and hides must pass on the way south to market, Falaba became important to
British colonial officials anxious to keep trade routes to Freetown open. In
1822, Alexander Gordon Laing was sent on an embassy to Sulima by Gov Charles
McCarthy. Following the Rokel River due North, he acquainted chiefs along the
way of Britain's good intentions and desire for open trade routes.
William Winwood Reade with financial and logistical
assistance from Gov Arthur Kennedy was the next envoy to Sulima in 1869. When
he returned to Freetown, he urged British officials to extend stipend payments
to more chiefs in order to keep the trade routes open. Reade made two trips to
Falaba in 1869.
In 1872, it was the turn of former Liberian Statesman
Edward Wilmot Blyden to visit Falaba on behalf of the Freetown government.
Blyden's route took him through Limba and Susu country in Kambia and Koinadugu
Districts. Upon his return to Freetown, Blyden not only impressed upon British
officials the importance of the stipendiary payment system to chiefs, he also urged
the colonial government to build a railway line to Falaba. Blyden figured that the
commercial benefits derived from trains moving goods and passengers could bring
an end to the inter-tribal wars that plagued Sierra Leone's interior at that
In 1879, J. Zweifel and M. Moustier, French
explorers on the way to the head of the Niger River (also known as the Joliba)
passed through Falaba.
Falaba remained important to Britain throughout the
19th century and was the headquarter town of the Koinadugu District
until 1896. After Britain ceded Heremakono then in Sulima territory to French
Guinea in boundary treaties, the district headquarter town was moved to
Koinadugu, a village in Sengbe Chiefdom.
Today, Kabala is the capital of the Koinadugu
District. Falaba, universally made famous when an Elder Dempster Lines ship of
the same name bound for Sierra Leone was sunk by a German submarine in 1915, has
been relegated to a distant shadow of its glorious past. Most of the town,
surrounded by its defensive perimeter of majestic cotton trees had to be
rebuilt after burning and pillaging Revolutionary United Front rebels passed
through during Sierra Leone's civil war.
Falaba is in one of the most economically depressed regions
in economically disadvantaged Sierra Leone.
Your are currently browsing this site with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).
Your current web browser must be updated to version 7 of Internet Explorer (IE7) to take advantage of all of template's capabilities.
Why should I upgrade to Internet Explorer 7? Microsoft has redesigned Internet Explorer from the ground up, with better security, new capabilities, and a whole new interface. Many changes resulted from the feedback of millions of users who tested prerelease versions of the new browser.
The most compelling reason to upgrade is the improved security. The Internet of today is not the Internet of five years ago. There are dangers that simply didn't exist back in 2001, when Internet Explorer 6 was released to the world. Internet Explorer 7 makes surfing the web fundamentally safer by offering greater protection against viruses, spyware, and other online risks.
Get free downloads for Internet Explorer 7, including recommended updates as they become available. To download Internet Explorer 7 in the language of your choice, please visit the Internet Explorer 7 worldwide page.