Sierra Leone News: Social Safety Net beneficiaries in Kono commend ACC

We commend the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) for the sustainability of the Social Safety Net (SSN) Project in our communities”. This statement was made by beneficiaries of the SSN project, during outreach engagements in Toli and Mafindor chiefdoms conducted by ACC Sub-Regional Office, Kono.
Chairlady of the Toli SSN beneficiaries in Yorgboma Town, Toli chiefdom-Fatu Francis on behalf of her colleagues thanked the ACC, NaCSA and the donors for improving their lives through the SSN project. She informed the Commission that no community stakeholder or project implementing partner have ever solicited or requested from them money since the commencement of the project in the chiefdom. Madam Francis revealed that with SSN money, most of them have constructed dwelling houses for their family members; embarked on petty trading and farming and also educated their children. She expressed gratitude to the donors and implementing partners for the successful implementation of the project. She however, appealed to the donors through the ACC to extend the project to their colleagues who are not part of the scheme.
In his contribution, the Town Chief of Yorgboma Town, Toli chiefdom, Chief Sahr Lamin noted that the SSN beneficiaries are grateful to the ACC, NaCSA and World Bank/UNICEF for alleviating their poverty. He said most of the beneficiaries have constructed houses, engaged in petty trading and farming with the SSN money.
In her statement, a beneficiary in Mafindor Chiefdom, Sia Komba thanked World Bank/UNICEF and ACC for bringing the project to their door steps. She said since the end of the eleven (11) years civil unrest in Sierra Leone, it is only this project that has changed and improved her family status. Madam Komba stressed that with SSN project, she has paid school fees for her children, bought some bundles of zinc for her house and embarked on petty trading to revolve the funds.
Speaking at the engagements, the Sub-Regional Manager, Wilfred Bangura, maintained that the Commission has keen interest in the implementation of the SSN project and the improvement it has brought in the lives of the beneficiaries. He stated that, the beneficiaries have been able to utilize the funds for the intended purposes, bringing about a positive change in their lives. He opined that the meeting was to further empower beneficiaries on their rights and responsibilities and to also update them on the positive interventions made by the Commission for a successful project implementation.  Mr. Bangura encouraged community stakeholders to support the process, as the project goal is to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable and extremely poor people.
Addressing participants at the various engagements, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Sahr Nabieu, unearthed that the sessions were conducted in order to access how the SSN allowance is been utilized by the beneficiaries, whether authorities or implementing partners were soliciting money from them after payment have been concluded. He reiterated that the SSN money should be used for their health issues, feeding, petty trading and the education of their children. The Social Safety Net (SSN) project the Public Educator disclosed, is funded by World Bank/UNICEF and implemented by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA). He said that ACC is actively monitoring the project in order to prevent the misuse of donor funds/property and to ensure that the actual beneficiaries of the project benefit from it.
He emphasized that the grievance redress component of the project is handled by the ACC. Mr. Nabieu encouraged the listeners to report any incidences of corruption to the Commission on the free lines, 077-986986 or 077-985985.
Participants were also briefed on the implementation of the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign in the piloted Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the gains the project has made in the first six months.
Thursday May 18, 2017.