Archives - ‘Sierra Leone’

The Launching of the Urban Wash Consortium programme in Freetown

December 16, 2010 | Matilda, MA in Globalization and International Development, Intern, Sierra Leone 50/50 Group

On the 26th October, 2010 the 50/50 group Freetown was invited to the lunching of the Urban Wash (water, Sanitization and hygiene) consortium programme Sierra Leone.

The occasion was marked by the presence of the Vice President of the nation, Hon. Alhaji Sumana. The main aim of the wash programme in Sierra Leone is for communities in the city and its surrounding areas to get proper access to sanitary facilities and clean water. To show the depth of the problem a short clip was showed to the audience that demonstrated an unstoppable development of slums within the city. In addition, many observed that the construction of the American embassy created of rush in the building of houses on the hills of Freetown that resulting in not only environmental degradation but also that of the life’s of endangered spices.

It was notes that sub-Sahara Africa is unable to meet its MDG goals of water and sanitization. More specifically, to Sierra Leone, only 30% of the city has access to wash facilities. Thus one of the objectives of the consortium is the help the Sierra Leone government realize its wash MDG goal. Subsequently, it was also noted that 97% of the Forest is at risk and that past plans of the city did not take into account future growth in population, thus the landscaping of the city led to an unfit location of the city’s waist. It is believed that the implementation and good management of the wash programme will help decrease and eliminate some of these problems. It was proposed that some of these problems will be resolved through community base education, enhancement of the health conditions of the most vulnerable group in the population (ie: handicaps and children). The sensitization of these groups the consortium believes will help in strengthening current environmental degradation faces by Sierra Leone.

In partnership with the government of Sierra Leone, and five international agencies – Oxfarm, Concern worldwide, Goal, ACF and Save the Children, DFID commitment in financial support of the program was reaffirmed my the president of the organization. However, he also noted that DFID’s pledged to lean support to the materialization and success of this project over a 5 years period should not mark the end of the program, as Sierra Leone’s resources should be able to fund such programs.

Question of reflection for the 50/50 Group

What does the implementation of this program means from women, the girl child and the achievement of some of the 50/50 goals.

Notes and reflection questions

December 16, 2010 | Matilda, MA in Globalization and International Development, Intern, Sierra Leone 50/50 Group

The workshop started with an analogy by Mrs. Christiana Top that states “in the olden days, schools and there different house colors represented the opportunity of the awareness of talents and preparedness of future leaders on the country, thus in the same way should the inter-party dialogue should be viewed.

The key areas of focus were:

1. Hoe can inter-party dialogue in implemented

2. What types of problems are political parties facing in Sierra Leone

3. What strategies can be put in place to mitigate these problems?

Key findings presented by Albert Massaquoi :

1. Political alliances formed during inter-party dialogue culminated to the attainment of political power and also helped shape the balance of power.

2. The involvement of religious groups and civil society organizations were instrumental in the process and in resolving some political disputes. The NMCs and DMCs involvement in the political served as a forum for effective communication between and among political parties, highlighted early warning signals on issues that had the proclivity to derail the electoral processes, encouraged political players to discourage “tribalism” and “regionalism” and served as an outreach vehicle to communities nation-wide on the importance and benefits that the nation could derive from dialogue activities in promoting peace and democracy? The importance of the involvement of the justice system and the traditional rulers.

3. The importance of mobile communication and its provision of the flow of messages and delivery of important documents and letters.

4. The code of conduct lacks strong punitive measures.

Some reflection questions on key findings of research for the 50/50 by Matilda

1. For the 50/50 in what way is this balance of power being define? When we talk about balance of power is it gender sensitive?

2. 50/50 needs to identify in relation to this statement what was their role.

3. Have the 50/50 group used the system of communication the spread their message to the local population?

4. Since women are most often the primary targets of political violence, and the main goal of 50/50 is the have a 30% female representation in political and decision making positions, what is 50/50 doing to bring awareness to misconduct and the plight of women aspiring to run for political offices?

My journey from London to Sierra Leone and my first day at work

December 16, 2010 | Matilda, MA in Globalization and International Development, Intern, Sierra Leone 50/50 Group

The city of London was in rains when the aircraft landed. This was not an unusual site as this city is known for its rains. Once in London, I was schedule to take a 6 hours non-stop flight to Freetown, my final destination and this was after a 9hours flight from Ottawa and a 6 hours transit. Though the traveling and waiting time were long, I was very much excited about my trip. However, once onboard the flight, and mid-way in the air, the pilots announced that the plane will have to make a stop for fuel in Spain. Now you must know that London- Freetown is a direct route, whereas Spain-Freetown requires a detour. As I sat in my chair the only question that kept coming to my mind is: given what we know about climate change and its effect on the environment, why do we still insist on depositing harmful carbon footprints that will not destroy our generation but that of the next. There was no reason why that plain could not have been fuelled in London before departure, how much money could the airline company have saved in making that detour to Spain to fuel, and add an additional 3hours on an already long journey. Did the means justify the end? This however was not the first or the last; I would have to ask myself, do people have any idea about the importance of time.

Interesting people and concept: time is not important, showing up is what matters: My first day at work was an interesting one. I was told to show up at a place where apparently, some organizations were to commemorate breast cancer month. I was very excited to be granted the opportunity to take part in such an important cause. I got the venue on time waiting for the coordinator of the organization I was working with as they are to introduce me to the rest of the group. 2 hours after the programme was to have started, representative of the organization arrived, they did not ask of my or call my phone to see where I was. I was standing close by and overheard others saying that the event had be cancelled at the eleventh hour. These people just went back into these cars a drove away. Not knowing who they were after few hours I called one of their numbers to find out if they were alright and were they were, only to be told they had just left the venue. Now the most interesting, after telling them the duration of hours I have been standing at the venue waiting on them, one of they said to me in apologising, time is does not matter, showing up is what matters.