Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach, ACC, Abubakarr Turay talking to the beneficiaries in Kono
A team from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) led by the Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Department, Abubakarr Turay has concluded series of sensitization meetings for beneficiaries of the Social Safety Net (SSN) in Kono, Kenema and Kailahun districts respectively. The meetings were held in Meiyor, Siama chiefdom, Kono district, Komende in the Small Bo Chiefdom, Kenema district and Daru in the Kailahun district. A total of seventy beneficiaries of the project took part in each of the meetings held between the 14th and 16th June, 2023.
The ACC handles the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) component of the project which is supported by World Bank and UNICEF, and implemented by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA).
Speaking at the meetings, Mr Turay reminded beneficiaries of the project about the importance of the cash transfer often made to them. He noted that the cash was intended for the “poorest of the poor” to help provide food for themselves and their families, send their children to school, provide medical care and engage in agricultural and business activities. “This money is meant to improve on your livelihood and that of members of your household,” the Deputy Director said.
Mr Turay admonished the beneficiaries to ensure transparency in the implementation of the project at all times. “If you are a beneficiary and you are not paid your cash or there is reduction in the amount of cash paid to you, kindly report to the ACC. If anyone also asks you for kickback after the money has been paid to you, you are required to report that person to the ACC,” he furthered.
Communications Officer at the ACC, Dolly Issa, spoke on the various means of reporting acts of corruption to the ACC, including visiting any of the Commission’s offices across the country or by calling its toll free lines of 077-985-985 or 077-986-986. She informed that the beneficiaries could also contact the SSN district and community monitors to report any suspected act of corruption.
Patrick Hinga George, Mukeh Lansana and Edward Ngegba are SSN district monitors for Kono, Kenema and Kailahun districts respectively. They gave a background of the SSN project and the mode of selecting beneficiaries, which was done by Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL).
Beneficiaries of the project thanked the Government of Sierra Leone, World Bank and UNICEF for the cash transfer which they say has made marked improvement in their livelihoods. At a meeting held in Kono District, a beneficiary said she was a widow whose only source of solace was the cash which had she had used for petty trading and the education of her children. Another beneficiary in Daru recounted how the project has helped change her life and expressed hope that it would continue.