A total of 85 households from the Bumbuna township and surrounding communities received a bag of rice, three gallons of palm oil and beams apiece.
This is done in collaboration with the food aid and livelihood support programme for people affected by the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project which was formally launched over the weekend at the Bumbuna ‘court barray’ in the Kalansogoai chiefdom, northern province.
The food support programme, funded by the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank, was formally launched by the project director of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Programme, Dr Abdul R. Jalloh, on behalf of government.
In his remarks Dr Jalloh reminded the people that the first place President Ernest B. Koroma visited after he became president was Bumbuna. He said Bumbuna as a host of the hydroelectric project was a very important chiefdom and therefore deserved the benefits that would be derived from the project.
He urged the chiefdom people to embrace the project as they stood to gain a lot of benefits. The food aid, according to the director, was just one of those many benefits yet to come.
In launching the food aid programme, Dr Jalloh said they had made many sacrifices to make the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project a reality.
The head of the World Bank delegation and senior environmental specialist, Dr Maria J. Cruz in her speech, said the Bumbuna township, the paramount chief and his people were the project’s important partners.
She informed the people that the funds for the project were being provided by a number of agencies and the Government of Sierra Leone, and that everything would be done to complete the project.
“We will continue our partnership in order to bring to you people more benefits,” concluded Dr. Cruz.
In earlier remarks the paramount chief of Kalansogoia Chiefdom, Alimamy Bockarie T. Koroma III, said his people had been looking forward to that day as they had now confirmed that the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project was there to look after the welfare of the chiefdom people.
“We had never before seen any arrangement for our people like this,” he said, adding that it was a transparent execution of the project programmes.
P.C. Koroma told his people that the food support programme was only one of the many benefits that the project had in stock for them. He appealed for patience and understanding of those who did not receive food as they too were considered for other benefits. He further appealed to them to remain peaceful and supportive of the project.
The World Bank mission that was in the country for the programme led by the Bumbuna Project Implementation Unit earlier traveled to Fadugu, Kasunku Chiefdom to inspect a housing project for Project-Affected-People in that chiefdom. Twenty-one houses were under construction. The Food Aid and Livelihood Support and Housing programmes are parts of the Resettlement Action Plan of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project.
The programmes ensure that the impact of the project on the people is so minimized that any move or deprivation from resources will affect as few people as possible and consistent with the requirements of the project.