The Cabinet Minister was speaking in Tonkolili on Saturday April 22 2017 as Government set up a locally owned coordination committee to assist the ongoing relief process. She said the efforts of Mr. Ismail Sheriff Tarashid Tarawali who heads ONS as National Security Coordinator, has been exemplary.
The Honourable Minister used the chance to extend to the affected residents, the deep concerns of His Excellency President Koroma.
The Minister also expressed concerns of the elected Parliamentarian for the area Hon. Aaron Koroma who was unavoidably absent as he is currently attending IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in America. The Minister however confirmed that both H.E. the President and the MP are keeping a close eye on relief efforts.
According to Minister Blyden, the President was always touched whenever he learns of such disasters occurring in any part of the country. She said the Mile 91 disaster was very sad in a poignant way as it took off the roofs of almost all the main primary and secondary schools in that part of the country.
“Seeing schools, women, children and other vulnerable citizens affected like this is one of the reasons why I must highly commend the speedy disaster response teams that were co-led by the ONS from the Central Government,” the female minister told the Chiefs, traditional authorities and other local authorities who will now take ownership of the process of Disaster relief in such a manner that all future Central Government efforts would simply dovetail into locally initiated efforts.
Hon. Minister Blyden has left Mile-91 heading for eastern Kailahun district where she delivered the Keynote Address at the very first workshop organised by the newly created MSWGCA Kissi Bendu satellite office in Koindu Town. The workshop organised by the Strategic Planning Directorate and Gender Directorate of the MSWGCA is for 150 women advocates pushing for Community Wellness throughout entire Kailahun district. Usually, such workshops were held in Kailahun Town but with the MSWGCA new focus on mainstreaming very remote communities into government activities, a directive was given by the Minister for the Workshop to be hosted in the remote Koindu, Kissi Teng by the borders with both Liberia and Guinea.
The MSWGCA is also engaged in a massive sensitization and advocacy exercise throughout the three Kissi chiefdoms on relevant laws, policies and issues which the new office will be ensuring are upheld. Child Rights, Gender Laws, Sexual and Domestic Violence Laws, Devolution of Estate Laws, Disability Rights and many other laws and policies are being introduced to the residents of the Kissi Kingdom.
It is worthy to note that according to the 2015 Census figures, the three Kissi Chiefdoms collectively have a population of 115,968 residents there currently. The vision of the MSWGCA is to ensure all the over one hundred thousand residents are well sensitized on such Rights and Policies by the time the new MSWGCA Kissi Bendu office kicks off operations and service delivery.