16 May 2012

Sierra Leone: CGG Voices Concern Over Nationwide Hardship

The Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) has expressed grave concern over what it described as "the continued challenges encountered by ordinary citizens to access basic social services".

"It has become quite challenging in recent months to have access to basic water supply let alone having safe drinking water," the civil society advocacy said in a statement. "Electricity supply is extremely irregular and purchasing fuel has become a privilege as it has almost become an entire day's activity with some citizens unable to purchase fuel without having an affiliation with fuel station owners."

According to CGG, some of the social rights of many Sierra Leoneans to access basic amenities have not been protected and are consistently abused. These are basic amenities that should not be a privilege but the social right of every citizen and the due responsibility of any responsive government, it said.

The group further registered its frustration at the growing level of lawlessness within Freetown and its environs, noting that law and order has become a silent partner with the growing number of indiscriminate street trading across the city, abandoned vehicles found in almost every corner, garages spilling over into the streets, construction of brick and zinc houses in the most obscure places; situations they believe are becoming a threat to the environment or to the inhabitants themselves.

"This is the 21st century and if we are to become a middle income economy within the next twenty-five years these issues need to be addressed and urgently," the advocacy group said.

"In this regard, CGG urges all related institutions more especially the Guma Valley Water Company, the National Power Authority, the Ministry of Energy and Power, the Freetown City Council, the Sierra Leone Police, the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment to recognize and protect the rights of all Sierra Leoneans across the country to have access to: safe, affordable and accessible water and electricity supply; uninterrupted flow of fuel; ensuring law and order is maintained; allocating areas for street trading; planning and monitoring the allocation of land and construction of various structures; and ensuring that the quality of life of all Sierra Leoneans is improved and sustained."

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