LG Minister

The Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs, Amb. Tamba Lamina has disclosed that the Kenema District Council (KNDC) is the best-performing Local Council in Sierra Leone in terms of the European Union (EU) Project implementation.

Amb. Lamina made this statement in his keynote address during the commissioning of the EU-funded multipurpose hall and funeral home in Kenema District. The construction of the two facilities was part of the 2.5 Million Euro support to the KNDC for developmental purposes under the EU’s support to Civil Societies and Local Authorities for Local Government in Sierra Leone’s project where Bombali, Pujehun, and Kambia District Councils also benefited from the same amount.

“Kenema District Council has proven itself in terms of performance, and I have no hesitation to say that the performance of KNDC especially in the delivery of this project is at the highest standard that matches our expectations. Before now, we have commissioned state-of-the-art markets at Tongor and Blama Towns which were constructed by KNDC under this same project. These facilities serve as a great help to the market women in those parts of the district,” he stated while adding that the Ministry had even commissioned roads, culverts, and wash facilities by the same Council.

He continued that the objective behind the construction of the multipurpose hall and the funeral home is part of the Council’s plan to mobilize revenue while engaging in development activities in their locality as that has been a challenge over the years, adding that the management of the project would also promote the joint venture between the council and private sector.

He maintained that the idea of building the multipurpose hall and a funeral home was the direct wish of residents and stakeholders of Kenema District that came out clearly during the project selection stage, adding that the choice of building a funeral home resulted in mixed feelings during the project approval stage but the wish of the people took precedent.

He said the professional role that the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the EU played in the implementation of the EU-funded project in Kenema District has clearly negated the idea that it duplicates the roles of staff of the Councils, adding that the PMU teaches professionalism, accountability and best practices which also helps to build the capacity of staff of the Local Councils.

He appealed to Local Councils to always strive to look for the best contractors when they are implementing projects of that nature as it goes a long way to the successful implementation of the same. He thanked the EU for its unwavering support to decentralization and Local Governance in Serra Leone and all those who participated in the successful implementation of the said project in that part of the country.

In his address, Manuel Muller, Ambassador of the European Union to Sierra Leone, said he was excited to see the results of how local authorities have assisted the people of Kenema District and its neighbouring areas with funding from the EU, adding that the EU has always been a strong supporter of Sierra Leone devolution processes viewing than as essential to boosting accountability and enhancing service delivery.

He continued that the EU listened to the cry of Local Councils about the difficulties they face in fulfilling their responsibilities and that they were happy to collaborate with them through Support to Civil Society and Local Authorities for Local Development in Sierra Leone’s project.

“I am pleased that I could hear today that this initiative supported by the EU has significantly helped KNDC fulfill its responsibilities in successfully completing projects that deliver public services to its community. This means to deliver public services to rural communities, resulting in tangible rural development outcomes,” he said.

He added that by building an ultra-modern hall, a funeral home, and implementing the cadastral system, the Council is sure of a secured additional revenue source to ensure long-term service provision to the people, adding that the construction of culverts, markets, bridges, and milling centres stimulates economic growth, creates job opportunities, connects communities to market and other services like in health, education and agriculture sectors.

He ended by appealing to the Government to increase the annual budgetary allocation to Local Councils according to the legal provisions of the country to enhance their level of service delivery.

The Chief Administrator and Chairman of KDC were amongst others who made statements and made the gathering to understand that the ultramodern multipurpose hall cost more than 4 billion new Leones while the funeral home cost about 3 billion new Leones. They were also full of praise and gratitude for the EU for the funding and the Local government Ministry for its effort in ensuring that the project was successful.

The commissioning ceremony was graced by many attendees including, the Resident Minister of the Eastern Region, Deputy Minister and Acting Permanent Secretary of MLGCA, Director of Decentralization Secretariat, Chairman, and Executive Secretary of the Local Government Service Commission, Senior District Officer, Paramount Chiefs, Parliamentarians, PMU team headed by their leader, and other stakeholders.

Credit: Frederick V. Kanneh – Information Officer, MLGCA


Copyright –Published in Expo Times News on Monday, March 11th, 2024 (ExpoTimes News – Expo Media Group (expomediasl.com)