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Bonthe most deprived district

- IGR research reveals

June 1, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi 

 As Sierra Leone gears up for its post-Ebola recovery efforts, the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), on Friday launched a research report on the status of basic service delivery in Sierra Leone.

The Service Delivery Index (SDI) focuses on gauging the availability and quality of primary education, healthcare, water and sanitation services, and provides localized information on service delivery in parliamentary constituencies and local councils, as well as data collected from 111 of the 112 constituencies in the country.

The report places Bonthe District as the most deprived community in the country.

IGR Executive Director, Andrew Lavali, while launching the report at the organization’s headquarters in Freetown, said the research clearly shows considerable improvement in girl-child enrolment in primary schools in all Northern Region districts over the last 10 years as 84% of all children of primary school age are enrolled in school.

“Bo city has the highest school attendance with about 98% of children of school-going age enrolled in primary school, while Bombali District has the lowest school attendance with only 71%,” noted Mr. Lavali. “On average, 74% of the children who sat to the 2013 NPSE examination nationwide passed. Kenema city had the highest NPSE pass rate of 90%, while Bonthe District had the lowest pass rate of 63%.”

Critical challenges to good educational performance, he said, were the shortage of textbooks, high overall cost of schooling, overcrowding in classes, lack/absence of trained teachers and poor learning environment, “including but not limited to the lack of toilets and safe drinking water in schools”.

At constituency level, Constituency 62 in Tonkolili District had the highest overall score combination of primary school enrollment and NPSE passes in education service delivery, while Constituency 76 in Bo District had the lowest overall score, the report further notes, adding that only 66% of health facilities have the minimum staffing requirements correct cadre of staff in-charge and at least two health workers.

According to the report, about 96% of health facilities in the capital city, Freetown, met the minimum staffing requirement while none in the Bonthe municipal area.

“Only 29% of health facilities have both water supply and electricity sources. Overall, only half of the population has access to improved drinking water sources,” the report states. “To get aggregate scores for all the four service delivery areas considered, the performance in each service delivery area was scored over 25 points.

“The Kenema City Council had the highest overall scores in the 2015 service delivery index survey, recording a total of 66.3 points, for all four service delivery areas. Bonthe Municipal Council had the lowest total score of 39.1 points out of 100 points score. Among the top 6 highest scoring councils, 5 are city councils and the 6th was the Western Rural Council.”

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