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Parliament ratifies $US46m plus community project

October 23, 2015  By Jariatu S. Bangura

Members of Parliament yesterday ratified two community development projects between the government of Sierra Leone and the Islamic Development Bank, amounting to US$46,680,000).

In his presentation, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Kaifala Marah said the two related agreements would finance the second phase of the Sierra Leone community driven development project, with objectives to reduce poverty and attain sustainable improvement in the well-being of the citizenry, as well as build the livelihood of the rural poor by providing them with access to socio economic opportunities and capacity building.

He said the project would be implemented in the Lower Bambara chiefdom in Kenema district; Dibia and Bureh-Kasseh Maconteh chiefdom in Port Loko district; Konike, Sanda and Kholifa-Mabang in Tonkolili district Chiefdoms; and Ribbi and Bagruwa chiefdoms in Moyamba district.

He told lawmakers the project would provide access to demand driven social and productive assets, including multi utility renewable energy platform that would generate about 0.5-2.0 megawatts of energy (rural  electrification) in each chiefdom headquarter towns and satellite communities in the target chiefdoms, provide water supply systems, green houses, fish ponds, model markets, value chain facilities and equipment for key crops, referral hospitals, access to package of business development service, among others.

Dr. Marah maintained that the project encompasses a sustainable livelihood framework which would put communities at the centre of the development process, in line with a typical community driven development approach. He said the project would also strengthen social capital and empower communities to participate and take ownership of the identification, planning and implementation of their development facilities.

He emphasised that Members of Parliament, including the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), would be charged with monitoring the implementation process in the different districts.

Hon. Foday Suma described the project as a ‘people centred project’, thus urging that the involvement of citizens should be considered during the implementation process, especially youths and women who had been anticipating such development in their communities.

He admonished against awarding contracts to individuals who are not resident in those communities to implement as they would be unaware of the needs of beneficiaries.

Minority Leader, Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, commended the ministry for including Kenema district in Phase II of the project, as roads in the naturally endowed district were in a deplorable state.

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