By Max A Konneh, Press Officer, MLGRD
Considering the negative impacts of measures taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on vulnerable and poor households, as well as large sections of the middle class in the country and the need to support and raise their awareness about the pandemic, the Decentralization Secretariat , an arm of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has in collaboration with other partners, provided sanitary and hygiene materials and organized sensitization meetings for nine Wards in Freetown and Portloko District that are benefiting from the Participatory Budgetary Project, under the Japanese Social Development Fund Project, implemented by the Secretariat in collaboration with Local Councils.
Distributing the items to the beneficiaries, the Capacity Building Manager, Decentralization Secretariat, John Braima, said the main objectives of the exercise which targeted Wards 402 at Robis Road, 403 Bottom Oku, 404 at Gassama Street, Calaba Town, 410 at Kuntolo, Wellington under the Freetown City, 241 at Gbaneh Bannah, 247 at Bundulai, 250 at Kagbanthama and 262 in Lunsar under the Portloko district, were to raise awareness about the pandemic, sensitize communities on how it could be prevented and distribute sanitary and Hygeine materials to help them prevent the disease. He pledged government’s continued support and admonished them to always observe all protocols associated with the pandemic such as wearing of masks, hand washing, use of hand sanitizers and maintain distance among others.
He intimated the beneficiaries which included school children that since the outbreak of COVID-19, they have made several interventions by undertaking social sensitization activities to create awareness, prevention skills through social cohesion and resilience by strengthening the capacity of Local Councils and distribution of hygiene materials to communities, aimed at bringing communities together to fight the disease. The Capacity Manager who also inspected a number of projects funded JSDFP AND World Bank, including water and sanitation, WATSAN facilities, schools and health centers, Culverts and Drainage undergoing rehabilitation, said the activity will also serve as a mechanism that would prevent future outbreaks and bring communities together to COVID-19 through lessons learnt from the Ebola Virus Disease.
Receiving the items, representatives from the beneficiary communities, including, Councilors, School Authorities and Traditional Heads, showered praises on government and donors for the gesture whist pledging their unwavering commitments to promoting development in their localities.
Singing of songs in appreciation of the gesture by school children and demonstration of the use of the Grievance Redress Mechanism Boxes which serve as channels of communicating and seeking redress from the authorities by beneficiaries with regards to projects implemented in their communities, formed part of the exercise.