June 2, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
As they continue with the implementation of their life changing project in Sierra Leone, the Government of Japan, through their Embassy in Ghana, have funded the International Organisation for Migration(IOM) and Office of National Security(ONS), to provide purified and safe drinking water to over one hundred and twenty-one relocated families of the September, 2015 flooding .
The Japan Embassy made the funding disclosure on Monday, 31st May, 2017, during a two-day press tour by officials of the Embassy to their various project sites in Tonkolili, Port Loko and Kambia Districts respectively.
Briefing the press about the 12 months water project at Mile-6 and other parts of the country, Coordinator, Kunikazu Akao, of the IOM, said the government of Japan provided the sum of one million two hundred and thirty- four thousand United States Dollars for the implementation of a 12- month project to provide safe drinking water in some parts of the country.
Officials of the Embassy, together with the press also moved to Yoni Chiefdom in the Tonkolili District, where they commissioned grain stores and drying floors for famers in that part of the country.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Hiroki Yamashita, First Secretary at the Japan Embassy in Ghana, said about a year ago, the government of Japan and the Sierra Leone Grass-roots Agency began an important journey together, and that the purpose of the journey was to ensure the construction of grain stores and drying floors for rice farmers of Yoni Chiefdom in the Tonkolili District.
He said the government of Japan deemed the project very important because of the usefulness impact it would have on the livelihood of people in that part of the country
“We are all aware of the Ebola pandemic that hit Sierra Leone in 2014. The effect of the pandemic cannot be overemphasized as it affected the livelihood of many people. So, when we received the application to support this kind of project in this part of the country, we welcomed the idea because we believed the project would provide an important guarantee to the economic development of people in this part of the country and make a valuable contribution to reviving agriculture and livelihood activities of key Ebola affected communities in the Yoni Chiefdom,” he said.
He said the project was funded by Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGHSP), which was established to assist Non-governmental Organisations and Public Authorities in developing countries to respond to various development needs at grassroots level.
He stated that the Government of Japan committed an amount of fifty -three thousand and ninety -seven United States Dollars for the completion of the project, which led to the construction and supply of three grain stores for farm products, three drying floors and three power tillers.
Welcoming the Japan entourage, representative of the implementing Non-government Organisation -Sierra Leone Grassroots Agency (SIGA), Michael Sesay, said his organisation was registered in 1989 and that they have been operating both in the Southern and Northern provinces of Sierra Leone, with focus on improving the lives of the underprivileged in rural and urban communities.
He said some of their key objectives were to identify and organise community based organisations and target groups for development purposes, identify donor agencies for funding of small scale rural and urban community development activities, develop through formal and non-formal training, skills, talents, attitude and capacity of women, girls and young men for self-reliance.
He said the successful implementation and completion of three grain stores and drying floors in the chiefdom was a positive move in the right direction for beneficiaries in particular and for the nation in general.
“Your Excellency, your partnership with SIGA to successfully complete this project in this chiefdom is a clear indication that the Government and people of Japan do share the suffering of the people of Sierra Leone in the area of agriculture and education. This is not the first time the Embassy has funded development project in Yoni Chiefdom,” he said.
He disclosed that in 2013, his organisation received funding from the Embassy of Japan for the construction of a six classroom primary school building in the Marmunka Village in the Yoni Chiefdom, with full set of school furniture for beneficiaries of the movement to educate children.
“Today, the school is now one of the prides of the chiefdom, as it continues to accommodate children from all surrounding villages,” he said.
He continued that in 2016 his organisation also received another funding from the Japan Embassy in Ghana for the construction of grain stores and drying floors in three communities in the chiefdom and also receive one power tiller- each for agriculture productivities.