The Head of EU Delegation to Sierra Leone Ambassador Tom Vens, on Friday, 19th March 2021, has officially launched an EU funded project for Bombali District Council in the esteem presence of the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Tamba Lamina, Minister of Planning and Economic Development who also doubles as the National Authorising Officer of the 11th European Development Fund, Dr. Francis Kaikai and other top government officials and local dignitaries.
The project which was titled “Empowered Bombali District Council for Efficient Service Delivery to the Citizens” was organised by the Bombali District Council and the Project Management Unit (PMU) which took place at Yoni Village, Gbanti Chiefdom, Bombali District.
According to Ambassador Tom Vens, the Twenty Six Billion Leones project will be implemented for a period of 36 months and is meant to improve institutional capacity of the District Council so they can effectively deliver on their mandate and Citizens in Bombali District will be reached with sustainable services in agriculture, infrastructure, WASH and that revenue generation will be enhanced and increased.
Ambassador Tom Vens emphasised that the project was informed by priorities identified by the people themselves and complements the government’s National Development Plan, which places premium on the development of local councils and devolution.
The Resident Minister Northern Region, Mr. Abu Abu Koroma thanked the European Union for the support and implored all citizens in the north to collectively monitor the implementation of the project and ensure the correct results are achieved.
Chairman of Bombali District Council, John Shanghai Koroma, catalogued the plans his Council has for the project, which according to him, includes a Paddock for the Cattle rearers, support to Agriculture with specific reference to farmers, who he said are now poised to showcase their own unique rice produced, processed and sold by the women folk of Bombali District.
He spoke about a ground-breaking project, which is constructing 75 hostels for Students of UNIMAK which will be run by a private company on behalf of the Council through public private partnership. He further mentioned that the project has raised the council’s profile and greatly helped them raise more revenue.
He mentioned the successful COVID response mechanism within the district, spearheaded by the Council and DICOVERC, and the confidence Council staff now have, after several capacity building trainings and the provision of IT equipment for the Council that will be useful when delivering services to the people of the district.
The Chief Administrator, Ms Vivian Senessie said the EU support has created dignity for the council administrators and made interaction with other development actors more meaningful. She further mentioned that with the support of the project, the Council will be able to construct 23 water wells, and rehabilitate a total number of 42 others, construct 2 markets at Palap and Makama. In addition, the project will also help the council rehabilitate bridges and culverts for farmers to be able to have access to markets, PHUs and the essential services needed to make them enjoy the proceeds of their labour.
Giving his keynote address, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Honourable Tamba Lamina, called upon all the people of the district to support the project and ensure that monitoring becomes a collective responsibility.
Similar sentiments were expressed by the Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr. Francis Kaikai, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Madam Melrose Camiton, who in addition, gave glowing tributes to the EU and the support they have given to the country as a whole.