Stakeholders in the Kenema City and District Councils have started a three-day seminar at the Town Hall to examine and validate the Kenema City and District Planning and Budget Manual from a gender perspective.
The manual is been developed by the Kenema District Economic Recovery Programme (KDERP) in cooperation with the central Government stakeholders and Local Councils.
Deputizing his boss at the officially opening of this tripartite initiative between the Government of Sierra Leone, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs- Hadiru Ibrahim Kaloko said, “the validation programme is strategic as it would be the peoples own,” adding that “government is committed to supporting the KDERP.”
The Deputy Minister expressed gratitude to UNDP and UNCDF for their continued financial and technical support.
UNDP Deputy Country Director (DCD), Samuel Habour noted that the program “marks another milestone in our partnership with the government of Sierra Leone.”
He explained that over centralization was one of the factors that led to the civil war; and that the reasons why government partners with international and local organization is to bring development which could positively affect the lives of it citizenry.
The UNDP representative maintained that planning is very important “those who do not plan have already planned to fail,” he said.
Habour explained that plans guide our actions and that plans on themselves can not be actualized if they are not budgeted for, “because we have scarce resources we need to prioritize our actions.” Resident Minister Eastern Province, William J. Smith lauded the initiative and stated that the role of Local Councils is to ensure that development objectives are met through the participatory involvement of local institutions.
Kenema City Mayor, Patrick Samu affirmed that the incorporation of gender equity into the City development agenda is very paramount. He spoke of the effectiveness of the local government tax, noting that “local taxes have been really effective. We have a substantial amount we can boast of within our township,” he said.
By Ophaniel Gooding