EU envoy launches Bombali District Council Project
The European Union Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Tom Vens has on Friday March 19, 2021 joined the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to officially launch a project for Bombali District Council.
The project titled; “Empowered Bombali District Council for Efficient Service Delivery to the Citizens” is being funded by the EU. The colorful launching ceremony, organised by the Bombali District Council and the Project Management Unit (PMU), was held at Yoni Village, Gbanti Chiefdom, and on one of the campuses of the University of Makeni (UNIMAK).
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, Citizens in Bombali District will be reached with sustainable services in agriculture, infrastructure, WASH and that revenue generation will be enhanced and increased.
He emphasized 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.
Resident Minister North, Abu Abu Koroma thanked the EU through the Ambassador 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. ‘We should all serve as monitors to ensure that the money is spent for the purpose for which it was given” he emphasized.
Also speaking, 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 said the project has raised the council’s profile and greatly helped them raise more revenue. He also spoke about a groundbreaking 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 also spoke about 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, including new computers that will be useful when delivering services to the people of the district.
The Chief Administrator, Ms Vivian Senessie, concurred with the Chairman and further stated that so far the Council has already procured 2 new Toyota Hilux pick-ups and that 10 Motorbikes are still in the pipeline but will be received soon.
“The EU support has created dignity for the council administrators and made our interaction with other development actors more meaningful” she said.
The Chief Administrator continued 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 to the delight of the famers and traders who applauded in appreciation of the support. 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.
In his Keynote address, Minister of Local Government, 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.
Highlights of the Ceremony included the performance of a theme song for the project, composed by the council and special gifts to the Ambassador and other dignitaries by the Fula Community and Women’s groups.