Sierra Leone Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Tamba Lamina has described the European Union (EU) as a reliable development partner.
Tamba Lamina was speaking during the official launch of the project title “Support to Civil Society and Local Authorities for Local Development in Sierra Leone” at the Karene District Council Hall.
Launching the project, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Tamba Lamina says after the intervention of EU, Karene looks very forwarding and improved in terms of development citing that they had reached out to EU to help support the two new districts created by government. The EU in response supported the two districts; Karene and Falaba with 2 million Euro, from which Karene benefited 1,50,000 Euro to undertake different development activities in the districts.
He encouraged the district to take ownership of the project through monitoring, proper implementation and paying taxes.
He added that they have been working with the EU for a very long time noting that ” EU is a reliable development partner” while appreciating them.
In his statement, the Head of Cooperation for EU Gerald Hatler noted that the EU is supporting the Karene district council and five other councils in Sierra Leone because they believe in Decentralization as stimulant to development. Adding that the EU is pleased to associate itself with the process of strengthening decentralisation in the country through the 11tg EDF programme titled “Support to Civil Society and Local Authorities for Local Development in Sierra Leone”, making available 25 million Euro grant to six district Councils and eight civil society organisation in Sierra Leone.
He furthered that the EU’s position is unequivocal; local government is critical to good governance and inclusive economic development around the world. He noted that grant to Karene is intended to help the council implement priorities of the district’s development plan and improve service delivery in areas like food security and agriculture, access to safe drinking water, market and social development.
He encouraged the Karene district council to ensure the money is spent wisely to ensure reinvestment in the community.
Giving an overview of the project the Chief Administrator of Karene District Council Gbawuru Sillah said that “EU is the first development partner to support Karene district with an amount of over one million Euro”.
He also revealed that they have already started implementation of the project with the procurement of six bikes, PA system, printers among others. He noted they will ensure proper implementation of the project for development in the district.
Civil Society representative Alex Kargbo in his statement said that Karene is a very deprived district and that the project is very huge to them “We are celebrating the biggest achievement in the history of Karene district and we thank the EU for such a support”, he noted.
Other stakeholders like the Paramount chief representative, MPs, market women representative thanked EU for the support they have given to the district assuring them of taking ownership of the project.
The launch was climaxed with traditional dance and celebrations to display their appreciation the project.