December 9, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura
Executive Director at Fambul Tok International-Sierra Leone (FTI-SL), John Caulker, has called on government to include communities in the post-Ebola recovery programme in the country.
Caulker was speaking during a two-day inclusive district dialogue to design recovery for community resilience and to strengthen and embolden community leadership and capacity in maintaining zero new cases and engaging post-Ebola recovery and development.
The district dialogue was convened by Fambul Tok and Catalyst for Peace in partnership with the Moyamba District Ebola Response Center (DERC), Moyamba District Council, District Health Management Team (DHMT) and the people of Fakunya chiefdom in Moyamba district.
He explained that the voice of communities must be part of the process, adding that FTI-SL had been active in bridging communities’ inclusion in developmental issues.
The FTI executive director told the people of Fakunya chiefdom that it was time to work hard and speak with the same voice for the development of Moyamba district.
He further stated that FTI-SL had been working relentlessly with communities in developing their people’s plan and identifying community roles in the post-Ebola recovery process.
According to him, non-governmental organisations and development partners must be consulted and asked about community needs in order to achieve sustainable development communities.
“NGOs should engage communities and the stakeholders before implementing any developmental activities to avoid reduplication of projects or projects that are not needed in a particular community,” he emphasised.
Caulker told the people of Fakunya that during the post-Ebola recovery programme, different development partners will suggest different developmental projects but not all of them would yield dividend if communities are broken, thus calling on them to work as a community in maintaining development.
“People must be part of the process, development must be owned by the people,” he insisted.
During the dialogue meeting, a technical committee was formed in order to mobilise, facilitate and embark on an inclusive approach in the post-Ebola recovery plan. The committee will comprise representatives from the District Council, traditional leaders, including fourteen Paramount Chiefs in Moyamba chiefdom, civil society, ministries department and agencies, children’s forum network and the inter-religious council.
Their responsibility would be to provide technical support to the Moyamba District Council and enhance the participation and involvement of communities in developmental process.