29 August 2017

Sierra Leone: Government Vows to Be Transparent With Aid From Overseas

Photo: AMAMedia/Al Jazeera
August 14 mudslide killed hundreds and left thousands homeless.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Cornelius Deveaux , has on Sunday, 27th August ,2017,vowed that government would be transparent in the handling of relief items donated by individuals, local and international partners.

"The issue of transparency and accountability is a thing that the government lays premium on in the handling of relief items," he said.

Speaking during a one day tour with Journalists at the Freetown International Airport, Minister Deveaux said government has appointed a fiduciary agent that would be dealing with the money.

"Everyone in the Country has started their calculations on some of the money so far been received by the country and citizens expect Government to be accountable and transparent," he said.

The Minister reiterated that accountability and transparency in the use of foreign aid is one of the ten pillars of the Open Government Partnership.

"We are keeping attention to all issues regarding relief items."

He extended thanks and appreciation to the Airport authorities, local residents, and Office of National Security (ONS), for providing the enabling environment.

Chief of Staff Office of National Security (ONS) ,Dr. Ahmed Sannoh ,whilst speaking on behalf of the security coordinator, thanked the Airport authorities and the security sector players for their good job in the handling and offloading of relief items in the country.

"So far, the Office of National Security is satisfied with the handling of relief items .It has been a great deal of transparency on everything and the coordination has been quite impressive," he said.

He added that as the lead of the disaster management, the ONS was encouraging all partners to be committed and transparent in receiving relief items as the international community is looking at the country.

Terminal building Manager, Sierra Leone Airport Authority, ,Mohamed Said Kamara, said the authority has done a lot in the support of handling of relief items .

He thanked the Minister of Transport and Aviation and team for their good work, stating that he has been working with the minister all these while and hoped that the good work that the airport officials have so far displayed since the start of the receiving of relief items, would continue.

Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma ,said immediately after the August 14th mudslide and flood incident , President Ernest Bai Koroma assigned him to Lungi International Airport to receive all foreign flights that transported all donations to Freetown.

"We have received flights from Qatar, Ghana, Nigeria, Turkey, JAICA and several delegations from overseas including Nigerian President Olusegun Obansanjo,Tony Elumelu ,delegations from Belgium and all over the world," he said .

He disclosed that the biggest relief donation flight has come from Ghana which he said contains over seventy-nine (79) tonnes of 2,000 bags of rice ,1,500 mattresses ,10 generators, including clothing and medical supplies .

Minister Koroma said they have provided mechanisms to make sure that the process is transparent, as they have deployed police and other officials to escort all trucks moving out with relief items to Port Loko.

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