-CARL Executive Director
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Executive Director, Center of Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL) yesterday stated that local councils are still excessively dependent on subvention from government to aid implementation of their activities.
Giving an update on the implementation of the ‘Accountability and Citizens Participation in Local Councils’ project, Ibrahim Tommy told journalists at the conference hall of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) that the revenue generation base of local councils is still very weak, adding that they would always wait for subvention from the central government to implement programmes.
“It is important for local councils to broaden their revenue generation base in order for them not to heavily really on government subvention,” he said.
According to him, when they carried out their calculation, approximately Le.11, 000 was allocated to each member of the various Ward Committees across the country in 2013.
Mr. Tommy explained that over a year ago, CARL received a grant of $125,000 from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to implement the ‘Accountability and Citizens Participation in Local Councils’ project, together with their partners in six districts where they operate, with the aim of promoting citizens transparency and accountability as well as participation in the activities of local councils.
He noted that as stated in the Local Councils Act of 2004, the project requested local councils to erect notice boards to inscribe their activities on it, in order that the people will be aware of what they do.
He maintained that since they started the implementation of the project over a year ago they have made some progress even though there are still challenges to be addressed.
Explaining the successes and challenges of the project, CARL Project Officer, Augustine Gulama, recalled that hitherto there were no notice boards erected by the councils, but that the implementation of the project have seen the erection of over sixty (60) notice boards in Kenema, Makeni, Bo and the Western Area Urban and Rural respectively.
He disclosed that sixteen (16) notice boards out twenty-six (26) have been erected in Makeni; twenty-one (21) out of twenty-nine (29) in Bo; fifteen (15) out of twenty (20) in the Western Area Rural; and thirteen (13) out of forty-five (45) in the Western Area Urban.
He highlighted delays in the erection of and updates on notice boards by local councils as some of the challenges they encounter in the course of implementing the project, which is due to soon terminate.