9 August 2017

Sierra Leone: Allat Reviews Progress in Land Management

Action for Large-scale Land Acquisition Transparency (ALLAT), a network of 15 civil society organisations on land and climate Change issues in Sierra Leone, has held a two-day review meeting on land management.

The review, which was done in the Conference Hall of the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Makeni, aimed at assessing progress ALLAT's alliance membership had made over the past months and chatted the way forward with possible suggestions and recommendations that will see the network more formidable in responsible large-scale land advocacy across the country.

The membership was able to discuss and adopt the ALLAT's communication and visibility strategy as well as discussing through group sessions, the ALLAT's strategic plan to serve as a working tool for the network.

ALLAT's Oversight Committee Chairperson, who also serves as Director of Green Scenery, Joseph Rahall, reflected on the Bo meeting in late 2016, which paved the way for a transition management in ALLAT.

On his personal assessment of ALLAT over the past months, Mr. Rahall stated that although they still have some challenges, considerable achievements have been made over the past nine months.

"During the Bo review meeting, an oversight committee was established to facilitate a one year transition leading to the endorsement or reorganization of the network structure and functions, ensure that a functional secretariat is in place, find an independent office space for the secretariat, among others," he said.

Chairman of the General Assembly of ALLAT, Joseph Jimmy Sankaitua, called on members to accept positive feedbacks as well as steps on how they can move their network forward in the interest of land owning families in the country.

Representing Welt Hunger Hilfe (WHH), a funding agency for ALLAT, Abdul Rahman K. Sowa, said he was happy to be part of the ALLAT review meeting in Bo as well as the recent one in Makeni, saying that despite some challenges, he is very much happy to see members of the network working in the interest in which the alliance was formed.

"ALLAT is presently implementing a three-year project funded by WHH which will end in March 2018. The end of the project should not be the end of the network but rather, ALLAT should continue to pursue their vision at all times," he said.

Chief Administrator (CA), Makeni City Council (MCC), William Alpha, said ALLAT is a blessing to Sierra Leone when it comes to proper land management and advocacy, adding that, "If we don't get land acquisition rights, the new land policy will be an ordinary paper and by that we are not doing justice to land owning families.

The MCC CA said they would be able to pointing out irregularities in land management, pledging his council's support in achieving ALLAT's vision.

Voluntary Guidelines National Coordinator, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Prince Kamara, said ALLAT has been a consistent partner for the FAO in terms of land rights in the country.

He encouraged every member to continue responsible advocacy by taking the appropriate messages to the right decision makers.

The Communications and Visibility Strategy of ALLAT, which outlines a set of activities to ensure visibility of ALLAT, build up awareness among stakeholders, carry out proper information dissemination and further showcase the impact of ALLAT's work in Sierra Leone, the region, among international and donor organizations, will ensure constant, consistent and effective communications among its members and target audience.

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