December 22, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
Green Scenery, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has on Monday trained members of the Action for Large scale Land Acquisition Transparency (ALLAT) on how they should utilise the Community Monitoring Tool (CMT) to access information from communities, where large scale investment takes place.
The training took place in Freetown and ALLAT, which is a network comprising 15 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and members from across the country were in attendance.
Green Scenery’s Joseph Rahall said they decided to train ALLAT members because the organisation’s interest was on land acquisition and very recently they have added climate change to it.
“We brought them together in order to enable them understand how to monitor certain activities in the field of large scale agriculture. We have developed the CMT which is like a questionnaire. But whether the questions are being answered by the community or individuals, the answers will be translated into grades which range from 1-10,” he explained.
He noted that when someone is taking the questionnaires to communities, that person also needs to understand them properly and that was why they were trained.
He said they decided to bring the CMT onboard in order to help ALLAT members generate information from the community, adding that information generated from the communities would be used in many ways.
“We will first look at it as a monitoring report. Issues from that report will be channeled to a number of people. For instance, if there are issues relating to a company in the community, we can send the report to them so that they can know how their impact is felt by the community. We can even send it to a Ministry that concerns,” he said.
He said they firstly wanted all ALLAT members to know how to use the tool in-depth and in breadth, noting that they also wanted to see if the tool developed will help them to generate theirs.
Abdulai Bun Wai, ALLAT National Coordinator, said the training was on monitoring tool for large scale land acquisition at the community level.
He said the training was very important because ALLAT’s main role was to monitor large scale land transaction in the country, adding that the tool would help all their members to have one focus and one methodology to do the monitoring.
“This will also enable us to have accurate results and the reports will also be very accurate. When we will have started to utilise the CMT, we will have to see very sharp report about large scale investment in the various parts of the country. The report would have to show us the effects that the large scale investment has on the on food and income security and social services,” he said.
He noted that ALLAT was preparing to implement the National Land Policy, which will launch soon by the Government of Sierra Leone.