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Fambul Tok Holds MSP Meeting in Pujehun District, Updates members on Issues of Concern in Malen and Makpele GRC and Chiefdom Meetings

Anglican Hall, Gobaru, Pujehun District, Friday 6 August 2021- Fambul Tok International has brought together district stakeholders and representatives from Malen and Makpele Chiefdoms in a Multi-Stakeholder Platform, MSP, session to update members on issues of concern identified during Grievance Redress Committee meetings and Chiefdom stakeholder meetings previously held in their respective chiefdoms, with support from UNDP Sierra Leone, World Food Program Sierra Leone and the Office of the Vice President.

The issues identified came as a result of the land disputes, selection of community headmen, the use of community development funds in the chiefdoms among many others. In Malen Chiefdom, twelve (12) issues were identified among which the need for more transparency and accountability in the use of chiefdom development funds provided by the SOCFIN Agricultural Company, the overdue technical reports yet to be released by government has brought mixed feelings in the minds of the community people, boundary delimitation disputes between landowners, political indifferences among chiefdom authorities/ stakeholders are a recipe for political tension.

In Makpele Chiefdom, ten (10) issues identified including women not included in the Gola Forest chiefdom meetings, delay in surface Rent payment to land owners, delay in the review of the land lease agreement between land owners and the Natural Habitat company, the need for Natural Habitat company to evenly distribute its cooperate social responsibility within the chiefdom.

In his welcome address, the PC Ansumana S Gbonda said the presence of Fambul Tok in helping the two chiefdoms address their issues would create the necessary impact the community deserved, adding that Fambul Tok had made a reputable track record in identifying conflicts in communities and facilitating the process in addressing them in societies.

The Executive Director of Fambul Tok International, John Caulker, emphasized the importance of the dialogue sessions, particularly for Malen and Makpele chiefdoms that usually experience community disputes. He said as an organization they have the key role of facilitating the discussions and identifying the issues at the Grievance Redress Committees and Farmer Based Organization stages as well as Chiefdom meetings.

John Caulker noted that the issues are then sent to the MSP platform that looks into the issues, address them or defer the issues to the appropriate authorities for redress.

“These issues are not Fambul Tok issues, but they are issues gathered from consultations we have held with the respective community organizations— and in our own opinion, we believe that if these issues are addressed would bring sustainable peace in Malen and Makpele Chiefdoms,” Mr. Caulker concluded.

Hon. Shiaka Sama of Cons. 104, extended his appreciation to all participants, particularly those who came with a genuine purpose of solving the issues in Malen chiefdom, emphasizing that in order to resolve the issues in Malen needed strong intervention from the Government.

He highlighted the several issues affecting Malen chiefdom, calling on His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio to deliver on his promise of solving the issues in the Chiefdom.

Minister of State, Office of the Vice President, Francess Alghali emphasized the role the New Direction Government has played to solving the several issues affecting Malen and Makpele Chiefdoms, adding that the community people also have a role to play in solving the issues in their chiefdoms.

She said that it was time to use the local solution to local problems approach to address the issues in their communities. She said President Bio was fully committed in solving the issues in both chiefdoms, adding that the people also must participate in the Multi-Stakeholders platform sessions in order to solve the issues.

©️FambulTok Comms Team
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