UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and Green Scenery Hand Over Maps to Communities

By Daniel Koroma

The day was Sunday 27th September, 2020, the location was the Chiefdom Headquarters of Malal Conteh in the heart of Port Loko District, and the event was the distribution of maps of clustered villages, village boundary lines, cluster of land parcels of land-owning families, built-up, and all mapped out areas.

This event brought together the chiefdom elders including the Regent chief, Chiefdom Speaker, the Chairlady, Chiefdom adviser, section chiefs, the three village chiefs, the Chiefdom Imam, the court chairman, and 36 representatives (one male and one female) of land-owning families from the villages of Faidugu, Mabain, and Koya in the Kayimbor Section. The Councilor of the area, representing the District council at the community level also graced the occasion and chaired the ceremony.

Amidst clapping and jubilation, community members received their long-awaited maps which they have worked for closed to one year since the project started and showed gratitude to the Funders, the UN Peacebuilding Fund and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. Many accolades were attributed to the implementers of the action; Green Scenery, the lead and United for the Protection of Human Rights.

At the well-attended ceremony, the Executive Director of Green scenery told the crowd in one simple sentence “our mutual efforts have come alive.” He expressed thanks to the entire community members who willingly accepted to work with Green Scenery and UPHR and translated that acceptance into co-operation out of which the maps meant to bring peace and assure women’s security to land has been realised. Joseph Rahall, the Executive Director, assured the chiefdom that Green Scenery and UPHR are committed to working with them at all times.

In the Regent Chief’s welcoming remarks, Pa Almamy Kai Conteh, was alive with praises for all, narrating from the project team’s entry point up to the handing over of the maps. He expressed that “we are here for you, FAO, Green Scenery, UPHR and other development partners, our chiefdom is in desperate need of development.” This appeal attracted mass acknowledgement from the gathering and it became the clarion call from all the other speakers.

Indeed, the newly de-amalgamated chiefdom is truly in dare need of a strong jostle that will kick-start its development journey. The chiefdom headquarter shamefully lacks everything that is basically required of its; water well/s, toilets, clinic, school (primary or secondary), the road leading there is not in any good shape. Thus, speaker after speaker, made the same appeal after expression of thanks to the project instigators.

The Chairman, Councilor, Morlai Sesay, observed in his statement that during the amalgamated chiefdom of BKM (Burreh, Kasseh and Maconteh) all development initiatives ended up in Burreh with none or very little reaching the others and especially Maconteh which, is further away from the rest. Like the rest of the speakers he appealed that FAO and other development partners cast a small glance at Maconteh to inch them out of poverty.

In his statement, the UN FAO representative, Mr. Ibrahim Bangura, narrating the genesis of the project and the source of its fund, the UN Peacebuilding Fund. He acknowledged the concerns of all the speakers and pointed out the dare need of development in the chiefdom, noting that these can come gradually. He informed the gathering that he cannot promise next steps referring to the statement of Mr. Rahall that a promise once made must be fulfilled hence the certainty of the scaling up project for the three villages can only be referred to as under consideration.

Mr. Bangura further intimated the gathering that the mapping activities were not only carried out in Port Loko but also in the districts of Kenema, Bo, and Bombali, expressing that the project has come to a close and that the UNFAO would consider the next steps.

All of the communities that benefitted from the intervention expressed thanks and appreciation for the adorable gesture even as they further express full cooperation for any future intervention.

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