The beneficiary chiefdoms include Kasseh, Maforki, Marampa, Kaffu Bullom, and Masimera.
According to Raman Tom Farmar, PLDC’s Chief Administrator, the entire projects, which were commissioned, cost over five hundred million Leones (Le506m) and the new projects, which have been handed over to contractors, cost over four hundred million Leones (Le406m), totalling to over 900 million Leones.
He told beneficiaries, during the handing over ceremony in the various chiefdoms that 60 percent of the funds for these projects came from the central government’s devolved grant and 40 percent from the council’s own source revenue.
He said before they embarked on such projects, they conducted needs assessment and found out that most of the areas, where they implemented the projects, were in dire need for such projects.
PLDC officials also opened their sub-office in Lungi, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, where Raman Tom Farmar said the branch office should be providing services at the doorstep of the people.
He reminded the people that President Bio’s flagship program is free quality education, and that PLDC spent over 60 million Leones to fabricate furniture for primary schools in some chiefdoms.
“We have done the procurement process to rehabilitate facilities in two wards within Kaffu Bullom Chiefdoms. We have been providing ambulances including fuel and lubricants for the operation of health centres. Similarly, we have been championing the national cleaning exercises,” he said.
He noted that 40 percent of the total funds came from the taxes and property rates that people have been paying to council.
“I want to encourage you to continue to pay your taxes and property rates. We have already reduced property rates by 20 percent. This will enable you to pay and the council will subsequently continue to do service delivery in your various communities,” he said.
PLDC’s Chairman, Ibrahim Santigie Bangura, said decentralisation simply means taking governance to the people, adding that no one should barricade people to access PLDC’s services within the district irrespective of someone’s political and religious beliefs, age, gender, and tribe.
While appreciating the job done by the contractors, he called on beneficiaries to take ownership of the facilities that were constructed and rehabilitated.
He encouraged those wards and communities, which did not benefit from PLDC’s constructed and rehabilitated projects, to be patient as plans are underway for all the 28 wards within the district to benefit before his tenure ends.
Edward Williams, free quality education’s coordinator in the district, said PLDC is a functional council as it has always, under the current leadership, been rehabilitating schools, providing school furniture, among others.
“Every year, school authorities spend millions of Leones to rehabilitate and fabricate furniture as pupils always destroy them. But council’s intervention was timely in this regard,” he noted.
He expressed grave concern over the failure of pupils, who have been admitted to take this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE), to attend school.
He warned parents to tell their children to attend school or else government would not pay fees for their examinations.
Paramount Chief Member of Parliament (PCMP) of Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III, thanked PLDC for the interventions in his chiefdom, saying that such projects were accomplished because of the taxes they were paying.
“For a very long time, people have been crying that they have been paying taxes without seeing any development projects in their chiefdom. But this current leadership has addressed the people’s cries,” he said.
Representative, District Health Management Team (DHMT), Mohamed Ibrahim Sesay, the MCHPs that were rehabilitated were in bad shape but thanked the council for its timely intervention.
“Pregnant women were running away from delivering their babies at these MCHPs. For instance, in 2017, we did 219 deliveries but in 2018, it reduced to 161. Pregnant women who visited this facility at Gbaneh Lol for antenatal care (ANC) in 2017 were 529 but the figure reduced to 457 in 2018. The above statistics shows that the MCHP was deplorable. We hope that attendance would increase after this rehabilitation,” he said.
Social Services Officer, Foday Bangura, also thanked the council officials for providing wheelchairs and crutches to persons with disabilities in the district.
He warned people to take care of disables in their communities as everybody is a potential disable.