• Sierra Leone Roads Authority conducts a public disclosure of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the rehabilitation of Moyamba-Junction Road.

    The Sierra Leone Roads Authority has conducted a public disclosure of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and the Environmental and Social Management Plan for the rehabilitation of Moyamba Junction Road, Magbele, Mabang, Gbangbama and Bailey bridges.

    The exercise took the form of interactive sessions at the SLRTA Conference room in Freetown, Songo Community Centre Magbele Central market and Moyamba Community Centre.

    Addressing participants at the SLRA Conference Room in Freetown, the Chief Engineer Environment, Arthur Ebun Davies, said that the workshop is in accordance with government’s policy that requires agencies and organizations to investigate potential hazards and propose a management plan for any project prior to its implementation.

    The Public disclosure of such document, he emphasized is a manifestation of SLRA’s resolve in ensuring that the people are adequately informed of issues that affect them.  He called on participants to treat the workshop and the document with all amount of seriousness.

    Mr. Davies noted that the issues contained in the report are of vital importance to the social and economic wellbeing of the various communities as well as the implementation and sustainability of the project.

    Speaking on behalf of the Environment Protection Agency in Freetown and songo, the Deputy Director Environment Protection agency Victor Sawyer informed participants that the Act establishing the Agency came into being in 2002 under the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the environment.  By the 2008 and 2010 Amendment Acts. He said the Agency became a separate body under the Office of the President.

    Mr. Sawyer said by Legislation any project that has the potential of affecting the environment is required to undertake an environmental and Social Impact Assessment Plan and submits a proposal for mitigating such an impact.

    The Public disclosure of the document, he went on, provides the forum for active involvement of the respective communities and stakeholders thereby making the people to develop a sense of ownership of the project.

    In providing an update on the project in Freetown, Songo, Magebele and Moyamba, the SLRA Chief Engineer- Operations and Project Manager for the Moyamba Junction-Moyamba Road and four bridges, informed stakeholders that the project is funded by the European Union.

    The project, he went on is divided into two lots – Moyamba junction-Moyamba Road, Gbangbama and Bailey bridges constituting Lot 1 and the Magbele and Magbang Bridges constituting Lot 2.

    Dilating on the design, Chief Engineer Vandi French disclosed that the 33.6 Km, Moyamba Junction- Moyamba stretch will be paved with asphalt wearing course and that each of the four bridges will be two lanes drive with pedestrian walk way facilities.

    In her presentation, the Senior Environment Officer, Sierra Leone Roads Authority, Lucy Eassa, called on stakeholders, to embrace the project in spite of the potential negative impacts.  She said that environmental and social impact assessment of the project was compiled by a reputable consulting firm, noting that there is no issue in the report that may require further investigation.  She however appealed to stakeholders to come up with any issue that is not addressed in the report for onward consideration.

    The aim of the exercise, she explained, is to ensure that the environment is protected within the process of executing the project through participation of the local communities.

    The three day forum was attended by representatives of the environmental Protection Agency, members of parliament, paramount chiefs, local government Councilors, and representatives of trade unions, youths and civil society organizations, community representatives and the fourth estate.

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  • Parliament hosts interactive session for Parliamentarians and the Directorate of the Legislative Services

    An interactive session, for Members of Parliament, and the Directorate of the Legislative services, on the legal process of Parliament has been held at the Committee room Number One, parliament building Tower Hill.  The session, aimed at training members of Parliament in legislative roles during Parliamentary proceedings.

    The Clerk of Parliament Ibrahim Sesay highlighted the improvement of Parliamentary Standing Orders, the Constitutional Provisions in accordance with section Eighty-Two of the Nineteen Ninety One constitution, and the improvement of the Legislative Process.

    The Chairperson of the Occasion, Juxon-smith Director of Public relations in Parliament informed Members of Parliament, that the workshop was the first ever organized by the Directorate of the Legislative Services with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

    Mr. Juxon-Smith stated that the workshop also aimed at fostering the traditions of Parliament and related legislative issues.  He stated tht the enactment of the Parliamentary Services Act in 2007 laid the foundation for legislative services in the country.

    A member of the Parliamentary Council, and Legal Draughtsman, Clarence Adusei, dwelt at length on the Amendment Acts and legislative Drafting of Parliamentary Bills.

    The Director of Legislative Services in Parliament Cyril King in his presentation on the excursion through the Legislative Landscape informed MPs that bills are legislative proposals to be enacted into law.

    The Clerk of the Legislative Committee in Parliament, Lamin Yansaneh, spoke of the role of the legislative committee in the legislative process which is to scrutiny of Parliamentary bills.  He added that his mandate also includes studying Reference bills, and report to the House for amendment.

    The Deputy Chairperson of the Legislative Committee in Parliament Hon. Daniel Koroma spoke on the Supreme Legislative Authority that rests with Parliament with the special responsibility of supervising the executive.

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  • The Constitution of Sierra Leone Amendment Act, 2013 has been passed into law

    The parliament of Sierra Leone has been  passed, the Constitution of Sierra Leone Amendment Act, 2013 into law.  The Act, unanimously ratified by MPs in the Chambers of Parliament, borders on the election of a Speaker of the House contrary to section seventy-nine, sub-section seven, of the nineteen ninety -One Constitution.

     

    The Act, now seeks the election of a speaker of the House, from within the members of Parliament and not outside parliament as previously stated in the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone.

     

    Piloting the Parliamentary bill before its enactment, the Deputy Attorney General and Minsiter of Justice, Arrow John Bockarie, informed MPs, that the amendment of the Act was in accordance with the normal best practices of Parliamentary democracy.

     

    The Hon. Dr. Bubuakei Jabbie of the SLPP, in his contribution, queried the timing of the Parliamentary Act which he described as premature.  Hon. Dr. Bubuakei Jabbie further told MPs that there was no basis of urgency for the Ministry of Justice to have brought the Bill for ratification by MPs, while a constitutional review committee has been set-up by government into which such amendments could be reviewed.

     

    The Chairman of the Parliamentary Legislative Committee, Hon. Ajibola Manley-Spaine informed Members of Parliament that the Act would further open-up possibilities for other people to be appointed as speaker.  He added that the ratified Act would not stop the work of the constitutional review.

     

    SLPP Hon. James Allie of Constituency Eighty-One described the constitution as a sacred document which should not be amended at will, while the Hon. Osho Williams of the APC, informed the House, that history always repeats itself and the amendment of the constitution was not on personal basis as sit only deals with the Office of the speaker.

     

    The Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Bernadette Lahai in her contribution, stated that the Act was intended to put into practice what has been earlier mentioned by some Members of Parliament.  Hon. Bernadette Lahai admonished her colleague parliamentarians, to bring the debate to a logical conclusion.

     

    The majority Leader of the House, hon. Sheku B. Dumbuya, said the passing into law of the constitution of Sierra Leone, Amendment Act, 2013 was in accordance with the best international practices of parliamentary democracy at global level.

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  • President Ernest Bai Koroma has arrived in Kuwait City to attend the Third African-Arab Summit designed to strengthen cooperation between Africa and the Arab region

    President Ernest Bai Koroma has arrived in Kuwait City to attend the Third African-Arab Summit on the invitation of His Royal Highness Sheik Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait.

     

    During the Summit the Heads of State and Governments will reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation between Africa and the Arab region on the basis of a strategic partnership that would endeavor to maintain justice, international peace and security. They will also re-emphasize the need to enhance the role and participation of the Private Sector and Civil Society of the two regions in the planning and implementation of joint programs and projects.

     

    On arrival at the airport, President Ernest Bai Koroma was received by His Highness the Emir of the State of Kuwait at the Amiri International Airport in Kuwait City.

     

    The Third Arab/Africa summit is an initiative by the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for development and prosperity and a great platform to strive for better appliances for development. It also stems Kuwait’s commitment to boost bridges of cooperation aimed at a strategic partnership on the ground.

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  • The Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) has paid compensation to some affected property owners on the Hill Side Bye-Pass Road

    The Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) has paid compensation to some affected property owners on the Hill Side Bye-Pass Road at the Atlantic Hall National Stadium.  The occasion was observed by key stakeholders including representatives from civil society organizations, Audit Service Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, to ensure that the process was done credibly so that all affected property owners along that route received what was due to them.

     

    The Chairman, Mr. Hassan Turay said that they were there to pay compensation to only affected property owners on the Hill Side Bye-Pass Road whose names have been compiled.  He emphasized that when good roads are constructed everyone benefits from them.

     

    He appealed to all affected property owners to accept and support the process for the reason of development which he said is the foremost focus of every Sierra Leonean.  Mr. Turay said that even though they wouldn’t pay everybody on that day they will ensure that everybody receives his or her compensation in the shortest possible time.

     

    The Programme Manager, Mr. Reginald Davis who is also a Road Engineer said that they had earlier instituted an evaluation process of the houses they were going to demolish.  He said, as long as a property owner has handed over his or her conveyance and other documents he or she stops being the owner of that property but it has now become a Government owned property.

     

    He urged the occupants to vacate the land before or December this year as the road construction will be in full swing at that time.

     

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  • The Midwifery Unit of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation with support from UNFPA has concluded a three day in –service training on midwifery for midwives in Sierra Leone

    The Midwifery Unit of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation with support from UNFPA has concluded a three day in –service training on midwifery for midwives in Sierra Leone held at the CCSL Hall Kingharman Road in Freetown.  The Theme for the training was “keeping Abreast for the Advancement in Midwifery practice towards Delivery Quality Care”.

     

    The Training Manager, ministry of Health and Sanitation Dr. Joan Shepherd and Principal of the National School of Midwifery said the training was designed to build capacity of midwives in the country, especially in area of knowledge, skills, and attitudinal change to deliver respectful, dignified and safe maternal and newborn care.

     

    Dr. Shepherd emphasized the need for the prevention and reduction of the incidents of mortality, morbidities and disabilities for women and children during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal period.  She admonished the midwives to put into practice the knowledge and skills acquired during training in their various hospitals.

     

    Participants thanked the Ministry of Health and UNFPA for organizing the training, saying that the training has increased their knowledge and skills in midwifery.  They assured the Ministry that they will put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired

     

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  • The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Sierra Leone, Lot Follah Bakhtiari, has paid a one-day working visit to the Speaker of the House, Hon. Justice Abel Stronge at Parliament Building Tower Hill

    The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Sierra Leone, Lot Follah Bakhtiari, has paid a one-day working visit to the Speaker of the House, Hon. Justice Abel Stronge at Parliament building Tower Hill.

     

    The Ambassador’s visit was aimed at acquainting himself with the work of the Speaker and to further broaden the bonds of friendship between the Parliament of Sierra Leone and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

     

    Ambassador Bakhtiari described the Parliament of Iran as independent with MPs exercising their freedom to speak on issues bordering on the country’s development.  He added tht different religions are also represented in the Iranian Parliament.

     

    The Speaker, Hon. Justice Abel Stronge expressed gratitude for the visit and noted the Parliament of Sierra Leone and Iran have a fruitful relationship.  Ambassador Bakhtiari was taken on a conducted tour of the chamber of parliament by the Director of Public relations, Cyril Juxon-Smith.

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  • President Ernest Bai Koroma has graced the occasion of flames of Hope by the Federation of Young people in Sierra Leone at the Miatta Conference grounds, Youyi building, Brookfields.

    President Ernest Bai Koroma has graced the occasion of flames of Hope by the Federation of Young people in Sierra Leone at the Miatta Conference grounds, Youyi building, Brookfields.

     

    President Koroma said the action of the youths to celebrate this day has given him as the President of Sierra Leone Flames of Hope in all the youths of Sierra Leone.  The President further assured the youths that he will continue to engage them until his vision for them is realized and until Sierra Leone becomes a middle in-come country.

     

    None the less, he accepted the fact that despite the efforts on the part of government, they are still faced with challenges.  President Koroma committed himself t ensuring tht the youths are transformed thus the creation of the youth village in the country.

     

    The President appreciated the youths for their show of commitment and appreciation and called on the youths not to turn back on their promise on the rule of law and order and implored the youths to discipline themselves

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  • The National Commission for Democracy NCD has concluded a-two day distribution exercise of civic education materials to junior and senior secondary schools in the Western Area Urban District

    The project is the first step in the reintroduction of civic education in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools in the country. The Director of Communications NCD the Rev. Gibrilla Kargbo recalled that Civics used to be part of schools curriculum and had been very significant in enlightening of pupils about their civic rights and responsibilities towards patriotic citizenry.

     

    He said pupils were taught basic things including love for one’s country, respect for national symbols and also the virtues of being a patriotic citizen that upholds the values that unites the country.

     

    He observed that the expulsion of civics from the curriculum had a devastating effect on the society. He argued that those who were not opportune to have received civic education have little or no respect for national symbols and are more likely to be lawless against the state.

     

    He said NCD is keen to ensuring that “the invaluable component” is reintroduced into the curriculum of schools in order to orientate the minds of pupils about the need to know their rights and honour their responsibilities as patriotic citizens.

     

    Rev. Kargbo said the Commission will work in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders on the need to bring back the subject into the school system.

     

    He encouraged the heads of secondary and primary schools to ensure that their teachers familiarize with the materials in order to enable them pass the knowledge on to the pupils with relative ease and understanding.

     

    Receiving the materials, the Principal of Annie Walsh Memorial School, Ophelia Morrison commended the Commission for the initiative and applauded the Commission for the work it has been doing saying the regular NCD Hour on the S L B C Radio and Television has been very educative and encouraged the Commission to continue the good work.

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  • The Director Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Dr. Kolleh Bangura has called for the demolished of illegally constructed structures in Wetland and Mangrove swamps in Freetown

    The Director Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Dr. Kolleh Bangura has said in Freetown that structures illegally constructed in Wetland and Mangrove swamps will soon be demolished.  Addressing newsmen Dr. Bangura said that EPA has been working with partners to ensure that wetland areas are not overtaken.

     

    He said the activities of people living on wetland locations will drive away fish and aqua cultures from laying eggs in a safe environment.  Dr. Bangura called for firm action to be taken by demolishing structures and expressed EPA’s determination to protect these wetland areas.

     

    He said Sierra Leone is a signatory to global preservation of the wetlands where fishes, turtles, shrimps and wild birds migrate but if it is overrun by humans, these animals will have nowhere to breed and will go into extinction.

     

    One of the areas that will be extinct is the Pelican terminal which the EPA has warned about permanent structures in that area.   He said EPA has provided funding for the Police to patrol the areas especially the Aberdeen bridge area where people have the tendency to weaken the bridge’s structure by using dynamite to fish.

     

    Dr. Bangura said another area of concern to the EPA is the land encroachment clearing of the Tagugama forest sanctuary where Bruno, the wild chimp and other were housed.

     

    A team of EPA officials and other stakeholders who visited the area concluded that urgent steps must be taken to stop the clearing of this area by land grabbers, even the hydro dam which is being build will in two years have their turbines blocked by silt from the cleared area while the wild

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