KENEMA DISTRICT CIVIL SOCIETY & HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE (KenDICS/KDHRC)
C/o 8 Kandeh Street – Kenema
21st September 2016
To the Ombudsman – Sierra Leone
Through the Kenema Ombudsman’s office
# 1 Suppui Street
FORMAL COMPLAINT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE FOR THE NEGLECT OF
THE PEOPLE OF KENEMA DISTRICT:
On behalf of the people of Kenema, the Civil Society and the District Human Rights Committee who represent the space between households and government, write to formally complain the Government of Sierra Leone for failing to provide the people of Kenema district with satisfactory and efficient public service delivery under the Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Prosperity(A4P) implementation ambition.
One of the key complaints is that Kenema city has been deprived of Tarmac for trunk “A” roads, such as the Blama, Hangha and Dama Roads respectively. Even where there are records of several demands and lobbying by various stakeholders in the past including, the formal Minister of State –East,the Press, Parliamentarians, CSOs, Local authorities and Councilors nonetheless, much attention has not been paid by Government to all of these concerns.
Although the people of Kenema are aware of the award and signing of contract by the First Strickon Construction Company for road works in Kenema, there is little or no effort= of serious mobilization, including authorizing of any initial work being done towards this development which, the people view as the lack of capacity on the part of the contractor. At the same time, even the coordination committee that was put in place with regional Engineer of SLRA as chairman and the city Mayor as co-chair has stopped their usual meetings after just two sittings and no information about the progress of the work is being given out to the public either by the contractor or the SLRA leadership- the supervising agency.
It is worth noting Mr. Ombudsman that even though the Kenema city fuel consumption continues to be on the increase and by extension, the second highest contributor to the Roads Maintenance Funds nationwide, the people of Kenema city have not been adequately rewarded parallel to the level of contributions Kenema delivers to the Roads maintenance Funds. It might interest you to know that budget allocation to road maintenance for the 2016 fiscal year was distributed in the following manner: South – Eastern Councils allocation for road maintenance was SSL 640,000,000 for each council while each of the Northern region Councils received SSL 840,000,000. SSL 1,050,000,000 was allocated to Makeni city council alone while Kenema City Council received SSL 640,000,000. This uncultured unequal distribution of resources has warranted the civil society and the Human Rights committee in Kenema to question the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity pillar4 in its totality.
The Kenema district civil society and the Human Rights Committee would like to use this opportunity to applaud Government for the Three Towns Water Project with its related facilities for the people of Kenema. However, the pace at which other cities and district headquarters in the South, West and Northern regions have been provided with tarmac roads facilities cannot be compared to Kenema city and one may like to ask- why this discrimination.
This situation has caused the Kenema city roads to be in bad shape leading to negative economic and social consequences. There are total economic effects of such bad roads to the eastern region as a whole, the health of the citizens, operation of businesses, safety of lives and property are unquantifiable and the bad roads exert enormous damages on Government, private and commercial vehicles on a daily basis.In our view as CSOs, any investment in the reconstruction of the national road networks will not only ease road transportation of goods enormously, but also enhances growth of economic activities in any nation.
The other complaint the CSOs would like to tender against the Government Mr. Ombudsman is the area of appalling health service delivery in Kenema.
We applaud the free health care initiative, though we observe that it is badly hit by the non availability of a Gynecologist and Paediatician. We further observe that the limited supply of essential drugs and challenges of transportation of drugs to the PHUs continue to undermine the implementation of the free health care.
Finally we also note with concern the present situation of Teachers in Kenema district which led to a sit down strike at this very material time when our children are supposed to be in school. However, we trust the delegation which had prevailed on teachers to go back to the classroom with the hope of addressing their concerns with in the shortest possible time.
We remain committed to forwarding the concerns of our people as we look forward to hearing from you in the shortest possible time.
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Augustine A Sannoh Fallah A Bockarie Abu Bakarr Tailu Lahai Galiwa
076 643117 076 896632 076 711536 076 985822
Minister of State East
Mayor Kenema City Council
Chairman Kenema District Council
CO 2 battalion
Kenema district MPs caucus
Chairman Council of paramount Chiefs
Human Rights Commission
Chairman Inter-Religious Council
SLRA regional office – East
Student Union – Eastern Polytechnic Kenema
SLTU Regional Office
Deputy Director of Education – Kenema
SLAJ – National
All Media Houses in Kenema
News Watch News Paper
Bar Association- S/L
US Embassy – Freetown
British High Commission – Freetown
European Commission – Freetown
World Bank – Country office
AYV- Radio/ TV
Umaru Fofana BBC
Culture Radio – Freetown
Awoko News Paper
Concord times News paper