Energy gains in Kailahun District……. Bunumbu & Pendembu get new mini grid facilities

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By Austine Luseni

The Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Eldred Taylor, has at the launch of mini grid facilities in Pendembu and Bunumbu described the New Direction energy revolution in Kailahun district as stunningly unprecedented and monumentally historic.

Dr. Eldred Taylor returned to the district for the two commissioning ceremonies two weeks after superintending over the commissioning ceremonies of similar facilities at Koindu and Buedu in furtherance of the fulfilment of the manifesto promise of President Julius Maada Bio to give Kailahun an energy facelift.

Welcoming the Deputy Minister and his entourage at Upper Bambara and Pejeh West chiefdoms, Paramount Chiefs Hon. Cyril Foray Ngondoh and Dr. Shamsu Mustapha described the respective occasions as crucially important, noting that President Julius Maada Bio had shown himself as a man that was worthy of the trust of the people.

Paramount Chief Member of Parliament, Hon. Ngondoh spoke about the historical significance of Pendembu, adding that the town was the terminus for the railway during the British colonial period.

Paramount Chief Mustapha spoke about the strategic importance of Bunumbu, citing the role played by the Bunumbu Teachers’ College in professionally developing teachers and administrators before the civil war, and adding that the occasion was a fulfillment of a promise he had made to his people during the contest for the paramount chieftaincy.

While commissioning the facilities, Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Eldred Taylor, said the Government of President Julius Maada Bio was more than determined to transform Kailahun in every facet of development, adding that President Bio was of the view that energy was a critical driver of national development.

He said the facilities met the sustainability threshold and expressed his delight at the overwhelming number of willing customers who had signed up to enjoy the facilities. He described the facility at Pendembu as one of the biggest,noting that in the not too distant future,the mini grid at Daru would be commissioned.

Dr. Taylor said nine other towns in Kailahun district were on course to benefit from a new mini grid package for which a study had been completed with funding from the American government. He implored the people to own the facilities and to eschew the unpatriotic acts of illegal abstraction of electricity and the vandalization of assets.

The Power Gen Country Manager, Mr. Hassan Suma, asked the beneficiaries to be proud of themselves for their outstanding cooperation and patronage. He said his company had a 20-year contract with the Government of Sierra Leone and erased fears of the facilities being a flash in the pan.

He spoke about the future role of his company and assured that two local on-site technicians would be recruited and customers would be taught on how to purchase tokens.

One of the illustrious indigenes of Kailahun District, Financial Secretary, Mr. Sahr Jusu, expressed his joy and appreciation and reiterated the commitment of the Ministry of Finance to continuously support such developments.

The Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Emmanuel Junisa, gave an overview of the project.

For efficient & accessible land administration system  

World Bank approves $41.1M  

The World Bank has approved the sum of fourteen one million one hundred thousand Dollars ($41.1m) International Development Association (IDA) grant to support the establishment of an efficient and accessible land administration system in Sierra Leone.

The project will help strengthen the country’s legal and institutional frame work in the sector by financing the implementation of the core aspects of the 2015 National Land Policy, including the registration of customary and freehold land tenure.

The Sierra Leone Land Administration Project is aligned with the Government’s Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy (2020), which identifies lack of access and ownership of land for women as a key issue.

The World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone Mr. Abdu Muwonge said “We believe that the project’s support for an efficient and accessible land administration system will have a transformative impact on the economy and society as a whole as well as positive impacts on agriculture productivity, urban development, own source revenue generation, and gender equality,”

“The World Bank is therefore pleased to support the Sierra Leone Land Administration Project because effective and efficient land management systems reduce the risk of conflicts and offer opportunities for investments, which is critical for Sierra Leone’s economic development and poverty reduction.” He aeplained.

Sierra Leone operates a dual land tenure system where land in the Western Area is administered under freehold tenure while customary land in the provinces is covered by customary tenure systems.

World Bank assessments revealed that only a tiny percentage of land in the rural and urban areas are mapped and recorded while institutional arrangements are opaque.

The country’s legal framework for the land sector is not aligned with new technologies or principles of modern land administration and does not address women’s land ownership or land use rights adequately.

The project seeks to ensure equal tenure rights and access to land for women and girls by addressing the outdated legal framework thereby closing identified legal gaps, updating and harmonizing the legal framework for the land administration sector.

“As the first major investment in Sierra Leone’s land administration system since independence, we are particularly excited that the project was prepared in close collaboration with the government and civil society, based on the globally agreed upon principles of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT), said Linus Pott, Land Administration Specialist and Task Team Leader.

The project will support legal reforms, awareness raising on land sector reforms, and significant capacity building for land administration functions. Also, it will support the establishment of appropriate ICT infrastructure, business processes re-engineering, development of a modern Land Information System (LIS) for automation of land administration processes, digitization of paper archives, containing deeds and cadastral maps, and providing base maps and a geodetic network. This support to the land administration system will enable the registration of customary and freehold land to strengthen tenure security.

The project was prepared in close coordination with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations who has supported the implementation of the VGGT in Sierra Leone.

Labour Minister attends 110th ILO Conference in Geneva

Mr. Alpha Osman Timbo, Minister of Labour

 By Abdul Hassan Fackie

The Minister of Labour and Industrial Relations, Mr. Alpha Osman Timbo and the technical team of the Ministry, are participating in the ongoing 110the Session of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The International Labour Conference is the ILO’s highest decision-making body. It meets annually in June, bringing together the tripartite delegations from the Organization’s 187 member States. The Conference comprises a plenary and sessions of technical committees.

At the Conference, the Government Workers’ and Employers’ representatives from 187 ILO Member States will discuss the world of work issues at the International Labour Conference (ILC). This year, occupational safety and health, apprenticeships, as well as the social and solidarity economy are among the items on the agenda of the Conference.

Over the years, the ILO has found out that the many Member States have used apprenticeships to abuse the rights of workers – over time, and volunteerism among others.

It is against this background, that in 334th Session in October- November 2018, the Governing Body of the ILO office decided to place a standard – Setting item on apprenticeships on the agenda of the 110th Session of the International Labour Conference to address the numerous challenges.

Sierra Leone in this respect, is one of the progressive Member States of the ILO under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio, ahead of the many countries to develop good Labour policies, laws and their implementation in protecting and promoting employees and the employers for a productive environment.

This year’s Labour Conference on the theme “Decent Work and the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE)”, discuss global strategies on the Reports of the Chairperson of the Governing Body and the Director-General, report on the application of Conventions and recommendations, Standard -setting on apprenticeship, amendments to the code of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 including programme and budget among other things.

At the high-level segment of the opening of the Conference, statements were made by the Chairperson of the Governing Body, the Director-General and other key speakers.

Mr. Alpha Osman Timbo is expected to speak in the plenary discussion of the reports of the Director-General and the Chairperson of the Governing Body to make a case for the country at the 110th Session of the International Labour Organization on the progress made so far regarding productive policies and Laws.

The Conference is from Friday, May 27 to Saturday, June 11, 2022.

Legal Link transforms Blacka’s life

Christian Lawyers Centre (Legal Link) has begun a healing, counseling and rehabilitation sessions for Mr. Mohamed Mansaray alias Blacka in order to help him reintegrate and enjoy a normal life in society.

He has been prayed for, anointed, led to Jesus Christ, put on deliverance sessions and he is presently attending regular Church services.

While we are hopeful for a quick transformation of his life, we are also not oblivious of the challenges that lie ahead especially with regards society’s manipulations and its chronic vices against mental health patients.

It is in this light that we are kindly requesting the public to positively help him go through the transformative process and not create obstacles for him.

The success of Blacka would not only make a difference in mental health interventions and support but will also put the country of Sierra Leone in a good light before the international community regarding the treatment of mental health patients in her jurisdiction.

We count on your moral, spiritual, physical and financial support to help Blacka go through this process successfully.

Christian Lawyers Centre (a.k.a LEGAL LINK) is a non-profit legal advocacy group comprising of lawyers, law students and human right activists that seeks to provide legal assistance to religious communities as well as vulnerable groups in Sierra Leone through legal advocacy, education and training, public interest litigations, state and private sector accountability, enforcement of the rule of law and ensuring respect for domestic and international laws that guarantee fundamental human rights and freedoms.

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