IDPDC to engage chiefs,Councilors to resolve impasse

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The Kailahun Inclusive District and Peace and Development Committee(IDPDC) in its first meeting has resolved to organize a one day stakeholders’s meeting at the end of the month to settle numerous challenges and the way forward for the development of the District.

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IDPDC meeting at Luawa resort in Kailahun

One of the major challenges in the district is the growing tension among Paramount Chiefs and the Kailahun District Council which has been existence for a very long time now.

There were instances when traditional leaders were accused of not paying chiefdom and other charges to the District Council for the fact that Council,for the past four years has not brought any development to their communities.

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Kailahun IDPDC Chairman.Hon.Fatorma

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Meeting in progress

Equally so,the District Council is blaming traditonal leaders of not paying revenue collected from their various chiefdoms. These allegations and counter allegations continue  resorting to sour relationships and backwardness of the entire district

According to Hon. Sahr Fatorma,chairman of IDPDC,he says ‘we should work very hard to bridge the gap between chiefs and council for the development of the district’.Hon. Fatorma emphasized that peace is important and if there are no good working relationships  among stakeholders it will difficult for the progress of the district.

He went on to state that because of these problems,Kailahun remains under-develop and called on all to hands on deck to work in the interest of communities.

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John makes a point

Hon.Fatorma assured all and sundry that irrespective of the problems, he is optimistic that after the meeting in Pendembu, Kailahun will go back to the glorious days as everyone will be brought on board.

The Executive Director,Fambul Tok,John Caulker gave an overview of the formation of district committees in Moyamba,Kailahun and Koinadugu. He said it is a framework to address district problems and highlight successes.He added that communities should take the lead in development process.He mentioned activities  carried out by  committees in their various districts.

Sharing her experience with the Kailahun committee,Hawa Conteh, a member of the Koinadugu District Committee highlighted  successes such as resolving road construction and that of chieftaincy in the district.She said through the intervention of IDPDC members the suspended chiefdom speaker of Sulima chiefdom was reinstated.She also mentioned the setting up of a whatsapp group for effective communication purposes.She promised to share what she observed in the Kailahun meeting.

The Development and Planning Officer of the Moyamba District Council who is also Secretary to Moyamba IDPDC mentioned successes. Alhaji Ansumana explained the amicable settlement of the Moyamba road construction saga which nearly brought the exercise to a standstill.He said with the intervention of the committee the company has agreed to employ people from Moyamba district and consented to build the camp site in Tonkolili district because of technical reasons.

He was very confident as he disclosed the recovery of stolen solar batteries in Moyamba through the efforts of committee members and other stakeholders.

Having shared experiences,Hon. Fatorma appreciated both members of IDPDC in Moyamba and Koinadugu districts,stating that Kailahun Committee members have learnt a lot and promised to  come to speed in terms of resolving issues.

As a proactive measure,the Kailahun IDPDC has set up a sub-committee to intervene in the recent suspension of two chiefs.

 

 

 

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Prof. Kandeh calls for local mobilization of resources

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Moyamba District Council chairman who is also chair of the Inclusive District Peace and Development Committee(IDPDC) has emphasized the need for organizations and communities in the district to put hands on deck to raise funds for the implementation of projects

prof Kandeh 1

According to Prof Herbert Bob Kandeh,communities have a lot of local resources that should be tapped into for the development of their various areas but continue to depend on external support.He was addressing members of IDPDC in Moyamba recently.

He mentioned that the formation of IDPDC is not a replacement of existing structures in the district but plays vital roles in the development of communities especially in the post ebola era

He said if communities want to recover in the post ebola phase they should work very hard so that whoever comes to the aid will be complimenting their efforts.

Dilating on activities of IDPDC,he explained that they have resolved the impasse between stakeholders and MSF construction company.He said the issue has to do with camp site as the company decided to build it in Tonkolili district.He said with the intervention of members,the issue was resolved as the company has now resolved to employ citizens of Moyamba district while the camp still remains in Tonkolili for technical reasons

members in rapt attention

members in rapt attention

Executive Director,Fambul Tok John Caulker disclosed the inter-district conference which will bring stakeholder’s in Moyamba,Kailahun and Koinadugu together to share ideas and experiences .He said the meeting will set the pace for the National conference for possible roll out of the People’s Planning Process to other district.

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Development needs to go beyond where better roads stop-John Caulker

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The Executive Director of Fambul Tok International-Sierra Leone says organizations working with communities especially in the post ebola era in Sierra Leone should not only focus their activities on communities that have good road networks but should take into consideration difficult terrains.

John addressing his audience

John addressing his audience

 

He was addressing traditional leaders,women,youth and other community members at the Kailahun District Youth Centre during the election of IDPDC executives.

He said as civil society organizations they should work very hard to ensure remote communities are reached and included in the post ebola recovery programmes, adding that activities of organizations should also compliment the President recovery priorities for the communities to benefit

‘Development needs to go beyond where better roads end and that is why we are working with communities and building  vital structures in terms of mediators,community members,peace mothers etc so that all of us should work to achieve more’John Caulker emphasized.

members in attendance

members in attendance

The chair of IDPDC,Hon.Sahr Fatorma urged members to work in the interest of communities and not self

The newly formed committee pledged to work very hard for the development of the district

 

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Koinadugu District Calls for Post-Ebola Interventions

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The people of Koinadugu district have unanimously agreed to rebuild their various chiefdoms in the Post-Ebola era.  Koinadugu learned from the bold steps taken by the people of Kailahun District to eradicate Ebola and ensure that the disease does not re-occur any longer.  They are determined to heal and recover from the damages left by the dreadful disease in communities.

Group work in progress

Group work in progress

A community preparedness meeting facilitated by Fambul Tok in Yiffin section, Nieni chiefdom, was held on August 10, 2015.  Community members highlighted the debilitating effects of Ebola in the chiefdom, in particular, and the entire district as a whole.

The meeting provided space for frank discussions to beat back the Ebola virus and prepare, in the event of future disasters, through collected commitments to withstand and respond immediately.  It also made room for suggestions and proper planning for Post-Ebola healing and recovery.

A banner to show where a mediator stays

A banner to show where a mediator stays

In his remarks at the meeting, Executive Director of Fambul Tok, John Caulker says the civil war in the Sierra Leone and Ebola are both two major wars for the fact that they caused a lot of atrocities on lives and property.  He stressed that the only difference between the two wars is that Ebola is in one way or the other spread by people very close to you (loved ones) while the civil war was fought by enemies.

He went on to state that after the war those that should have benefited in post war recovery were either not targeted or were not part of the planning and implementation stages.  He said due to these mistakes hundreds of community projects were not completed and therefore did not yield any dividend.

The Director says Fambul Tok’s primary focus in the on-going Post-Ebola phase is for the country to correct those mistakes made after the war when millions of dollars from donors and partners were donated but no tangible outputs were realized.

one of women leaders welcomes participants

one of women leaders welcomes participants

He says in order to avert such things, Fambul Tok has already engaged communities in Kissi Teng chiefdom, Kailahun district, where the ebola virus first hit.  Through community meetings and trainings in every village, in all five sections, the communities developed narrative on what/how they want to heal and recover from damages caused by Ebola.

Councillor Koroma explains  ebola related cases

Councillor Koroma explains ebola related cases

Mr. Caulker says after series of meetings in all sections, the people of Kissi Teng were able to put together the People’s Plan for Ebola prevention, healing and recovery, a community driven approach for Post-Ebola recovery.  He says the Kissi Teng document is only a pilot phase as other chiefdoms in Kailahun district would have the opportunity to do the same provided organizations are willing to take up the task.

Mr. Caulker discloses that similar engagements are now on-going in all five sections in Nieni chiefdom so that communities could easily identify their problems before, during and after Ebola and put in place strategies for the community healing process and recovery.  He asked participants three major questions:  1.  How does as an individual ensure that Ebola does not come again to your community?  2.  How do communities collectively ensure that Ebola does not re-emerge?  3.  Are there Ebola related cases and what do they intend doing to heal and recover in the Post-Ebola phase?  The 108 participants were divided into five groups to answer the questions.

The Director emphasizes on the importance of the second meetings for the sections as community.  Mediators (two from each village, male and female) would be trained in communication skills, mediation, healing and reconciliation and accountability.  He said after those engagements Fambul Tok, in collaboration with other organizations in Koinadugu district, will organize a district community resilience conference in Kabala and community members will also take part.  The conference, he says will look at the Nieni chiefdom People’s Plan for Ebola prevention, healing and recovery.

In his contribution, Councilor Augustine Koroma expressed happiness for Fambul Tok for embarking on Post-Ebola drive.  He confessed that they, as politicians, are accused of receiving money for Ebola work.  He says there are lots of misconceptions on Ebola in that part of the country and therefore called on Fambul Tok to intervene.

Pa Kelly of Funbakoro confirmed that there are lots of people who are not on speaking terms because of Ebola related cases.  He says due to this the chiefdom keeps regressing.

The people of Nieni also complained of Ebola food supplies and called for intervention.  The distribution, according to them targets only survivors or relatives of Ebola victims.

According to one of the elders, everyone in the district suffered in one way or the other so therefore everyone is a survivor.

Another meeting was also held in Siradu section in the same chiefdom.  The training of mediators in the two sections will commence in the next two weeks.  Sectional executive members are expected to be elected during training sessions who will be charged with the responsibility of coordinating activities in their various sections.  Rotational meetings at village level are also expected.

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Post-Ebola Reconciliation is Vital for Sustainable Development

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Paramount Chief of Nieni chiefdom has emphasized that Post-Ebola activities in communities will be meaningless if communities do not reconcile and work together. Nieni chiefdom was the first area hit by Ebola in Koinadugu.

The traditional leader, Alimamy Umaru Jalloh 111 made this statement as he addressed participants from various villages that converged at Kumala for a one day community preparedness meeting facilitated by Fambul Tok on June 13, 2015.

Paramount Chief of Nieni

Paramount Chief of Nieni

According to Chief Jalloh, millions of dollars were pumped into the country for post war activities but not much was realized.  It is very important for communities to be a part of the Post-Ebola planning and implementation so that the mistakes that occurred after the war are not repeated in the Post-Ebola era.

Post-Ebola activities, especially reconciliation, is vital for sustainable community peace and development, Chief emphasized

He underscored the efforts of Fambul Tok for the past years in its healing and reconciliatory approach in communities.  He said reconciliation is not an event but a process and cautioned people to handle Post-Ebola reconciliation with the seriousness it deserves.

He further extolled Fambul Tok for bringing peace to his chiefdom, tracing reconciliation activities since 2008.  He went on to state that if organizations had focused on peace building in the country after the war, some of the numerous challenges in communities would have reduced and therefore urged them this time round to direct their resources on Post-Ebola activities.

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