May 27, 2015
The National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) has this week commissioned dozens of feeder roads, culverts, bridges, grain stores, paddocks and water wells in the Kailahun and Koinadugu districts. NaCSA commenced the implementation of the Pro-poor Growth for Peace Consolidation (GPC) programme in 2014 on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, thanks to the Republic of Germany for providing the funds through the German Development Bank (KfW).
In the Koinadugu district, spot improvements were done on eight feeder roads while four grain stores and drying floors were constructed in various locations in the Sulima Chiefdom, as well as thirteen hand pump water wells and a feeder road constructed in Folosaba Dembelia Chiefdom.
Meanwhile, in the Kailahun district a total of 60.8km spot improvements were done on three feeder roads plus two grain stores with drying floors and toilet facilities, as well as water wells and rice milling machines provided in Luawa and Kissy Tongi chiefdoms.
The symbolic handing over ceremony of the facilities to the communities was done by the Commissioner of NaCSA, Alie Badara Mansaray, who informed the people that the move is part of growing efforts by the government to improve the socio-economic condition of especially the rural poor.
Mr. Mansaray said the GPC project is geared towards improving the agricultural productivity of rural farmers in a bid to maximize their income generation through a clustered value chain system of cultivation, drying, processing, storage, transportation and easy access for marketing of their products.
He said the project was initially implemented in Kailahun and Koinadugu districts to particularly benefit the youths by way of providing temporary employments for them through the Labour Intensive Public Works (Cash for Work) initiative.
With Kono district now becoming the latest addition to the GPC programme, there is hope for a possible scale up to other parts of the country. This expectation was partly echoed by the German Government through the KfW Technical Advisor, Peter Mostert, who expressed satisfaction over the level of performance and achievements made by NaCSA in the implementation of the programme since its design in 2006.
While encouraging the young people, especially the women, to be part of the development process of their communities, Mr. Mostert encouraged the people to make judicious use of the facilities by ensuring regular maintenance and proper upkeep of the infrastructure.
The people on their part expressed gratitude to the government through NaCSA and the German Government for what they referred to as “realistic poverty alleviation strategy and restoration of their socio-economic dignity”. They mentioned the various interventions earlier made by NaCSA and the KfW, especially during the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease when food and sanitary materials were provided by NaCSA through the KfW to cushion the effects of disease in these areas.
They added that roads will greatly ease the difficulty in the movement of goods and services by building links and creating access to farming and commercial areas.
The occasion was graced by local authorities including the local councils who are the traditional custodians of the facilities.
As Chairman of the Kailahun District Council puts it, NaCSA is a development giant whose action is consistent with the overall development agenda of the country. Alex Bonapha was particularly upbeat that his area will remain a proud beneficiary of the various NaCSA interventions. But the ordinary locals are even more gratified by this latest development.