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UNDP Launches Poverty Eradication Projects in Bo and Kenema

24 May 2007 at 05:01 | 354 views

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a series of mini-projects in Freetown, Port Loko, Kenema and Bo in October 2006 to commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP). The first of these projects, the Rehabilitation of Kissy Library, was completed and handed-over in March 2007. Saturday, 19 May 2007 saw the handing-over ceremony for the rehabilitation of the Kotugbuma Spring Water Project in Bo(photo) and the Gbongbontor Market Water Well Project in Kenema. Acute water shortage has been a perinea problem in these communities. These projects were identified as priorities during the commemorative activities of IDEP last October, and the communities submitted proposals to UNDP for funding through their respective Local Councils. A total amount of 32 million Leones has been donated by UNDP in support of these two projects.

At the handing-over ceremony on Saturday at Gbongbontor Market Water Well Project in Kenema, UNDP Programme Specialist, Stephen Bainous Kargbo, commended the project and its importance for the community. “47% of the population of Sierra Leone does not have access to safe drinking water,” Kargbo said at the ceremony. “There is a direct link between dirty water and poverty. This project will contribute to the eradication of poverty in Kenema, as the health problems related to dirty water will be reduced, and people will be ill less.”

In Bo, the Kotugbuma Spring Water Project was launched on the same day, with residents of Bo town turning out in their dozens to witness the handing-over ceremony. Foday Rado Yokie, the Development Chairperson of Kotugbuma commended UNDP for support with this project. “UNDP really are our partners in development”, Yokie said. UNDP’s Stephen Bainous Kargbo told onlookers at the ceremony that it is Bo’s responsibility to maintain the project; “this project belongs to the people of Bo, not to UNDP.”

The IDEP commemorations took place from 17 to 22 October 2006 by UNDP, in collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone and civil society. The events provided an opportunity to show solidarity with millions of men, women and children who continue to live in abject poverty, and to publicly acknowledge and encourage the work of organisations and individuals who are making significant contributions to the fight against poverty. It was an occasion to raise public awareness and mobilize various actors ranging from heads of state to private sector and civil society leaders, along with local community activists, to show their commitment to the eradication of poverty and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Source: UNDP, Sierra Leone.