Josephine K. Tarawaelie.
The Director at the Decentralization Secretariat, Alex Bonafa has called on Civil Society Organizations in the Kambia District to cement their ties with the District Council, so as to be able to jointly implement development projects ahead of a 4.5 million Euros grant from the European Union for the Kambia District.
He made this statement at the weekend in a stakeholder’s engagement workshop conducted by a team of experts from the European Union for Civil Societies and Local Councils/Authorities in the Kambia District as part of the rolling out of the ‘Support to Civil Societies and Local Authorities for Local Development in Sierra Leone’ project.
Mr. Bonafa noted that the workshop which was held in the Kambia District Council hall was to have inputs from local authorities and Civil Society Organizations members as to what are the priority area of community development and to give these stakeholders the technical support as to how they should position themselves for the forth coming support by the European Union.
‘It is high time civil societies worked together with local authorities for a common purpose of community development through this project by the EU’, he said, noting that the goal of the ‘Support to Civil Societies and Local Authorities for local Development in Sierra Leone’ project is to see to it that Civil Societies and Local Councils in the country no long work in isolation but see themselves as partners in development and at the same time to mutually hold themselves accountable.
Making a statement to civil society organization members in the Kambia District at the same workshop, the Team Leader for the ‘Support to Civil Societies and Local Authorities for Local Development in Sierra Leone’ project Professor Ludovick Shirima said the project was to benefit four districts in Sierra Leone which are Pujehun, Kenema, Bombali and Kambia.
Professor Shirima revealed to participants in this workshop that the European Union had approved the sum of 4.5 million Euros for each of the above mentioned districts of which 2 million Euros will be allocated to civil society organizations and 2.5 million Euro to the district council.
‘The idea behind this support by the European Union to these four district in Sierra Leone is to see that Local Councils and CSOs work in collaboration to roll out development programs that will be of greater benefit to the people’, professor Shirima noted, adding that development project that would be embarked on by the CSOs and local councils should be economically viable and sustainable. This is why he advised CSOs to form consortia in different development focused priorities and develop big projects that would be of greater value to communities and jointly bid for support to the EU for said 2 million Euros that had been allocated to them.
The team leader for the ‘Support to Civil Societies and Local Authorities for Local Development in Sierra Leone’ project professor Ludovick Shirima informed the participants at the workshop that there would be a call for proposals from interested CSOs in different development projects which they want the EU to fund through this project. However, professor Shirima said that the Local Councils were not going to bid to have access to the 2.5 million Euros that had been allocated to them, but this would be done in a form of negotiation between the EU and the councils to know the areas of priority by the councils and how they could be supported technically in the implementation stage of this project.