A delegation from the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA), government ministers, Members of Parliament, and NGOs paid a one-day working visit to Kambia and Rokupr, northern Sierra Leone.
The purpose of the visit is to get first hand progress report about JICA’s education, agriculture, and water supply projects in that district since it started operation three years ago.
Addressing a jam-packed crowd at the Kambia District court barray a Member of Parliament from the APC, Ibrahim Sorie, delivered the welcome address and thanked all those who had contributed to the success of developmental projects within the Kambia District.
The meeting was chaired by the minister of Local Government, Dauda Kamara, who used the occasion to call on the people of Kambia and its seven chiefdoms to support JICA for the sustainability of projects in their district.
He promised that the APC government would put all necessary mechanisms in place for the development of the district.
The minister of Foreign Affairs, Zainab Hawa Bangura, thanked the government and people of Japan for their continuous support to the people of Sierra Leone. She promised to work hand in hand with JICA and ensure that all projects were implemented to the latter.
Mrs. Zainab Bangura also advised Sierra Leoneans to change their attitudes and adopt the culture of maintenance and embark on sustainable development projects for Kambia to regain its past glory as the food basket of Sierra Leone.
Responding, JICA’s senior vice president, Kenzo Oshima expressed thanks and appreciations to the government of Sierra Leone, NGOs and the people of Kambia for their hard work.
He also encouraged them to make good use of JICA’s facilities in the district, adding that the only conditionality for helping Sierra Leone was that good governance and democracy must be maintained at all levels to empower the masses to become self reliant for sustainability.
Mr Oshima noted that JICA would be working with Kofi Annan to implement the Green Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa for food self-sufficiency, as 28 million tons of rice would be cultivated by 2018 as planned with the collaboration of Merika rice project.
The government of Japan and JICA would help to develop the sustainable model of rural development focused on education, agriculture and health which could build the capacity of communities for development and expansion to other districts would be considered, he stressed.
The visiting Japanese delegates were taken on a conducted tour of project sites at the Kambia educational project, water supply and the Robat Agricultural project site in Rokupr.