By B.W.Bockarie & Juliana Vandy
The North-West Region Minister, Haja Isata Abdulai Kamara has on behalf the NaCSA Commissioner Hannah Max-Kyne, officially launched the construction of a Regional Community Managed Resource Centre in Port Loko and the symbolic rice harvesting at the Port Loko District Council Hall.
Addressing Community Stakeholders, Civil Society, Councilors, Regent Chiefs, youth and representatives of beneficiary chiefdoms, the NaCSA Program Manager gave a brief background and aims of the SLCDD II Project commonly called “Gietrenk Project” co-funded by the government of Sierra Leone headed by President Julius Maada Bio and the Islamic Development Bank.
Momoh Juanah said the aim of the project is to reduce poverty in Sierra Leone, particularly the seven chiefdoms (BKM, Bagrwa, Ribbi, Kholifa Mabang, Kunike Sanda, Lower Bambara, Karene) in five districts (Port Loko, Moyamba, Tonkolili, Kenema, Karene).
According to him, the project has two components namely improving Infrastructure in rural communities (schools, roads, markets, health, bore holes, Resource Centres etc).
The Program Manager furthered that the SLCDD II Project has another component of contributing to Food Security (increase food production) and hence NaCSA distributed 3,474 of 20 Kilograms of husk rice to be cultivated on 1,390.6 hectares of Boliland for MEGs residing in communities in Port Loko, Tonkolili and Karene.
He reiterated that North-West Region is a priority to President Bio as far as development is concerned and hence encouraged residents of Port Loko to take full ownership of the construction of the Regional Resource Center.
He introduced the Contractor of Jokibu Construction Company Mr. Mambu who reassured residents of efficient and quality work with their fullest cooperation. Engineer Cyril Jusu described the Community Managed Resource Center as ultra-modern edifice with facilities like Market, Auditorium, Committee Rooms, offices, stores, toilets, parking space, water among others.
Other speakers at the ceremony included the Representative of Civil Society, Port Loko City Mayor, Regent Chief of Bakeloko chiefdom and the District Council Chairman.
The official turning of the sod for the construction of the North-West Regional Resource Center by the minister Haja Isata Abdulai Kamara climaxed the occasion in Port Loko.
Similarly, while addressing community stakeholders at Komrabai Station, Kholifa Mabang chiefdom Tonkolili district, where the symbolic rice harvesting was supervised by NaCSA, the Program Manager disclosed that 20,875.5 acres of Boliland was cultivated across the two districts (Port Loko & Tonkolili) and that 250,000 Kilograms of seed rice and agro chemicals were supplied to Komrabai Station community and contractors paid to rehabilitate the land.
He maintained that the project is to enhance support to the livelihood of the community people. Present at both events was the Director of Field Operations Madam Catherine Sillah, who admonished residents of Kholifa Mabang to take ownership of the project and urged them to effectively engage in the harvesting process as NaCSA has played its own part by providing all the necessary support since the inception of the project.