Ministers launch Local Economic Development Projects in Kenema

02 Aug 2013

imageminister of local government, diana konomanyi (in african dress) looks on as the water purification operator demonstrates during the launch in kenema city. (undp/ c. thomas)

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Ms. Diana Konomanyi and the Minster of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Mr Moijue Kaikai have commissioned two local economic development projects at the Kenema Fishery Market, Maxwell Khobe street in Kenema city and a community health centre in Hangha town Friday 2nd August 2013.

A brand new city abattoir equipped with a refrigerator room and a water purification center were built by the Kenema City Council while the Kenema District Council undertook the construction of a community health center in Hangha Town, outside Kenema city. The projects were funded UNDP and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) under the Local Government and Economic Development Joint Programme (LGED-JP) and the Gender Equitable Local Development (GELD) Programme also supported by UN-WOMEN

The Chairman of the Kenema District Council Dr. Senesi Mansaray said the construction and furnishing of the community health centre at Hangha is geared towards supporting the government of Sierra Leone’s free health care initiative for women and children under 5 years. Services to be provided includes treatment and prevention of mainly communicable diseases as well as maternal and child health care. The facility will provide public health services to over 16,000 people.

Mayor of Kenema City Council, at the launch of the abattoir and cold room, His Worship Joseph S. Keifala said the abattoir and cold room are expected to enhance value chain development and food security in Kenema City offering the possibility for safe meat, fish and vegetable storage and long term conservation for perishable food.

Mayor Keifala also stated that the project will be run as public-private partnership venture after a competitive bidding process that is at its concluding stage.

He said: “The projects will help in the availability and access to food in the market.  The rental fees for the usage of the abattoir and cold room will also provide the city council with revenues that will be re-invested in service delivery for the population of Kenema. An estimated 28,627 people will be reached out daily as direct beneficiaries of the abattoir and the cold room.”

Mayor Keifala also stated that a six months trial period of the water purification plant has proven efficient delivering 3000 liters of purified water per day and several local business opportunities will be offered to the population of Kenema especially retailers, cooperatives of producers, fishing association, butchers unions. The Water purification plant will be linked to the cold room facility to produce purified ice blocks to meet domestic and industrial needs.

Local Government Economic Development Programme Manager, Charles Mback said that  despite the relatively small size of the project, the project has already added value to Kenema local economy. “During the construction phase, 60 direct jobs and 20 indirect jobs were created. Six (6) contracts were awarded to various service providers of which two were run by women.”

The LED approach to local council development promoted was officially launched in July 2012 by the Vice-president of the Republic of Sierra Leone to promote prosperity at the local and community level in Sierra Leone.

Beyond the two projects commissioned today, the LED and GELD approach supported by UNDP/UNCDF and UN-WOMEN has significantly influenced thinking of local development from the planning and budgeting to the implementation and monitoring and evaluation of local economic development. Through the LED and GELD approach, economic investments in the localities are only eligible if they provide evidence of real positive impact on the lives of people, with specific attention to the needs of women, the youth and vulnerable groups.

The commissioning of the KCC and KDC socioeconomic investments follows similar achievement by the Moyamba District Council early this year. A similar programme is being completed in Tonkolili District.

 

For more information, please contact

Charles Nach Mback, Programme Manager, LGED-JP, Email: charles.mback@undp.org

Karim Bah, Communications Analyst, UNDP Sierra Leone. Email: abdul-karim.bah@undp.org