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Sierra Leone: Humanitarian Situation Report Sep 2003

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published


KEY EVENTS

  • Yellow Fever outbreak

  • Security Council extends UNAMSIL's mandate

  • UN Agencies and GoSL celebrate World Peace Day

  • Nigerian lawmakers call on UNAMSIL

HUMANITARIAN HIGHLIGHTS

Yellow Fever outbreak

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) has reported a total of 90 cases of Yellow Fever, from eight districts in the country: Tonkolili, Bombali, Kenema, Koinadugu, Port Loko, Kambia and Kono. Of the 90 reported cases (as of 29 September) four laboratory cases were confirmed, all from the Tonkolili District, where majority of the suspected cases emanate from. Earlier, the MOHS gave out 100,000 doses of vaccine in four chiefdoms in the district. They have now finally secured funds to carry out mass immunization campaign in the remaining seven chiefdoms of the district. The first case of the disease, which resurfaced early last month, was reported in Bumbuna. The alarm for mass immunization by NGOs was heightened when a 38 year-old refugee woman suspected of contracting the disease from the Taima camp, died before a blood sample was taken for laboratory confirmation.

Water and Sanitation Survey

After the success of the water and sanitation survey in Kambia, UNICEF and OCHA continue to support the District Recovery Committees in organising inter-agency Watsan surveys in Kono and Kailahun Districts. More than 50 data collectors are now engaged in visiting all villages to ascertain their water and sanitation facilities. The data from Kambia have been processed by OCHA / SLIS and a draft survey report is currently being discussed by the DRC and its watsan partners in the district. A concern raised in Kono is that none of the Watsan implementing partners had the facilities or machines for testing water samples. This has been reported to the MOHS.

SECURITY HIGHLIGHTS

Overall security

UNAMSIL (United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone) reports the overall security situation in the country to be calm. However there have been some concerns about security along the border regions, particularly along the Mano River Union Bridge in the south. Similarly the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) are concerned about the porous nature of the border in the Kamakwie, Tambakha and Koinadugu areas, in the Northern Province that have resulted in increased smuggling of goods across the borders. The police have also reported hunters from Guinea, coming across, poaching and crossing back into Guinea.

UNAMSIL's mandate extended

The UN Security Council has extended UNAMSIL's mandate, which was to expire on 30 September, until 31 March 2004. The Council welcomed the Secretary-General's proposals to adjust UNAMSIL's size, composition and deployment, should the security environment remain favourable. By the end of August, troop strength had been reduced from 16,900 to 12,311 personnel. Starting in November 2003, troop strength would be reduced to 11,500 and it is envisaged that by October 2004 troop strength will stand at 5,000.

Government posts immigration and customs officers to border areas

The Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has posted two Immigration Officers and two Customs Officers to the Kailahun District. These officers have taken up position at Beidu on the Sierra Leone - Guinea border. It is expected that more postings will be done soon. Meanwhile, no cross border raids were reported in the Kailahun area as the Republic of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) has intensified their border patrols. The RSLAF has also reinforced their position at the Mano River Bridge, which was re-opened recently to expedite humanitarian activities. In a bid to lessen the looting of goods, only individuals with hand luggage have been allowed to cross the bridge, which has been further barricaded to prevent movement of vehicles. Other reports indicate that fewer Liberians crossed the border into Kailahun District, as the situation is relatively calmer in their country.

Demarcating chiefdom borders

The UN and the GoSL are working with local authorities around the country to settle border disputes, which appear to be on the uprise especially in resource rich areas - where control of territory is an issue. Recent border disputes in Koinadugu District and Kono District resulted in unrest and the burning of houses. Police have been deployed in the area to forestall further attacks. A similar land dispute erupted between Kenema and Pujehun Districts over the change of borders between Barri and Niawa Chiefdoms. The conflict apparently originates from a government survey in July, when the details of a boundary adjustment were defined. Over in the Masimera Chiefdom, Port Loko District, the Rolal and Mayelma communities have been grappling with land dispute to the extent that people from one community could not go to the other community for fear of possible hostilities. The district authorities are investigating the situation.

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS

International Peace Day

UN agencies in collaboration with the GoSL organised a series of activities at the UNAMSIL HQ and at the National Stadium, in commemoration of the International Day of Peace. Weeklong activities dedicated to this year's theme "Global ceasefire" were organised throughout the country. A videoconference was organised with four peacekeeping missions around the world, Sierra Leone included. During the conference, a Liberian refugee child ex-combatant had the opportunity to share his experiences with other children from different nationalities and in particular with the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, Mr. Michael Douglas, who visited Sierra Leone last year. The videoconference was followed by the flag raising ceremony and performances by refugees and returnee children. Radio programmes, involving female ex-combatants, and quiz competitions formed part of the programme.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Sierra Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has said that it would submit a report of its findings to President Tejan Kabbah early next year. President Kabbah will submit the report to parliament. The report will also be passed on to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to be discussed by the UN Security Council. Some 450 Sierra Leonean testified in the TRC public hearings, which ended in August 2003. The Commission continues to assure its witnesses that it would not give out any of its findings to the Special Court and in fact some of its sensitive documents will be taken out of the country for safekeeping, after the compilation of the report. The TRC was set up in 2002 to probe atrocities and rights abuses committed during the country's civil war.

Nigerian lawmakers call on UNAMSIL

On 08 September, a five-man delegation of Nigerian lawmakers from the Committee on Army, Federal House of Representatives visited the country to assess the current activities of Nigerian peacekeepers serving with UNAMSIL and to get information that will facilitate their decision making process concerning the Nigerian Army. The delegation met with the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Alan Doss and UNAMSIL Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande.

US ends temporary stay status to Sierra Leoneans

On 03 September, the United States announced the termination of its TPS programme, which gives a special protective status to some 2,700 Sierra Leone nationals living in America. According to the notice, Sierra Leone no longer met the criteria for the programme as the country's civil war was over and conditions in the country had improved significantly. This means that Sierra Leoneans in America covered by the temporary stay programme must either leave the United States by 03 May 2004 or make arrangements to stay under another US immigration status.

DONOR HIGHLIGHTS

World Bank approves $30 million for reforms

The World Bank has approved a $30 million credit to support the government's strategy to reduce poverty through improved governance and economic growth. The money will be used to help consolidate the progress made so far in governance and management of public resources in Sierra Leone. The loan, also referred to as the third Economic Rehabilitation and Recovery Credit (ERRC III), will continue to support the government's institutional and policy reform agenda to stimulate economic growth. It will also allow for the importation of essential commodities, including food, petroleum products, raw materials and intermediate goods required for economic reconstruction and the rehabilitation of social and economic infrastructure throughout the country.

EU donates $97.3 million for recovery efforts

The European Union has approved a package of $97.3 million (84.7million Euros) for various projects, including agriculture, mining, highway infrastructure as well as budgetary support and emergency situations for Sierra Leone. The EU is plans to undertake an assessment mission in the country as part of its annual review.

Donors study resumption of Hydro Electric Dam

A high-powered delegation from the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Italian government visited Sierra Leone to study means to complete the Bumbuna Hydro Electric Dam in Tonkolili District in northern Sierra Leone.

United States - helping Sierra Leone back on its feet

According to a press release by the American Embassy, the United States has so far donated $209 million to foster recovery efforts in Sierra Leone. This money is being used to: build schools and hospitals, train police, provide humanitarian aid, undertake economic development projects and to support US peacekeeping operations. The country has also benefited from a debt relief of $63 million. The statement indicated that the US Congress has given $144.8 million to support UNAMSIL, in addition to $516 million the US government had already invested in UNAMSIL since 01 January 2003. Another $5 million was given to fund the Special Court, which will receive a total of $15 million by the end of this year. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), has also benefited from a $500,000 donation.

Development Partnership Committee (DEPAC) meets

On 10-11 September, the Vice-President chaired the 4th DEPAC meeting, which was attended by key Ministers and representatives from bilateral and multilateral partners and NGOs and discussed the power sector, including the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project (BHP), the education sector and the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP). The financial gap to complete the BHP was closed thanks to generous contributions from Italy, OPEC fund, ADB and IDA. The completion of Bumbuna will not only go a long way to solve the country's energy crisis, but also contribute to reducing poverty, promoting growth and creating employment. Partners commended the Government for its efforts in developing policies favourable to attaining the Millennium Development Goals, but stressed the need for sustained investment to achieve the goals. Partners also recognized that progress had been made to push forward the PRSP. It was agreed that the draft PRSP will be ready by end March 2004 for discussion with partners in April 2004. The next DEPAC is scheduled for 6-7 November and will deal with justice, security framework, recovery assessment, NGO issues and the PRSP.

Appeal Working Group

OCHA brought together the GoSL, UNCT, donors and other stakeholders on 23 September to review the draft 2004 Appeal.

SECTORAL HIGHLIGHTS

AGRICULTURE

IFAD to finalize the design of rural development project

Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) an IFAD team is to finalize the design of the rural development project to be implemented in certain districts in Sierra Leone. The major project components of the project are:

  • Seed and tools distribution; aimed at making farmers producers and not just consumers;


  • Community development (feeder roads, agro-processing for the women, etc.)

  • Infrastructure (buildings, markets, stores and drying stores, wells, etc).

The team visited the districts of Kono, Kailahun and Tonkolili and looked at their human resource bases, activities, organisations, and potentials for delivery. Tonkolili is featuring more positively in line with the above. The issue of food aid is not included in the project but would be further discussed with WFP.

FAO's support to the agricultural sector

FAO is providing some support to enable District Directors to conduct monthly agricultural committee meetings.

EDUCATION

MEST and UNICEF organise workshop

The Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MEST) and UNICEF organised a five-day CREPS review workshop with the aim of identifying areas in which the programme can be improved and to share experiences amongst its supervisors. Areas of discussions included CREPS aims and objectives, the curriculum, teacher recruitment, effective implementation of the programme in the areas of teaching and learning and phase-out plans. In related developments, the ministry has recruited more teachers especially at the primary level to increase the opportunity for children to have access to basic education. MEST is currently running CREPS in four districts in the country.

FOOD AID

WFP's regular support

Countrywide, WFP supported a total of 109,345 beneficiaries (63,500 female) with 2,122.47 MT of food during the reporting period. Vulnerable group feeding (VGF) programmes (refugees, resettlement, returnees and institutions) supported 64,734 beneficiaries (35,840 female) with 952.75 MT of food. The Therapeutic Feeding Centres/ Supplementary Feeding/ and Mother and Child Health Programmes (TFC/SFP/MCH) provided 65.5 MT of food to 11,626 beneficiaries comprising under-fives, pregnant women, lactating mothers and TFC Caretakers. Safety nets (Institutional Feeding) provided 3271 (1,437 female) beneficiaries with 50.34 MT of food aid.

HEALTH

UNICEF embarks on a measles campaign

As part of its Integrated Early Childhood Survival and Development (IECSD) initiative, UNICEF in collaboration with the MOHS and WHO, will be conducting a nationwide polio campaign in October and November this year targeting an estimated 2,454,000 under-five children. UNICEF reports measles to be one of the major causes of under-five morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone.

Vaccine preservation

UNICEF procured 45 sets of solar powered refrigerators/freezers and facilitated the installation of the equipment as well as the training of health staff in 45 health facilities in Bombali, Kambia and Koinadugu Districts in northern Sierra Leone. The solar powered refrigerators/freezers ensure the availability of potent vaccines for 47,778 pregnant women and 38,220 children less than one year of age. This is the first phase of the planned standardisation and improvement of the Expanded Programme for Immunisation (EPI) cold chain. It represents a key input in strengthening routine EPI and to reduce disease due to vaccine-preventable child diseases.

INFORMATION

Who / What / Where Humanitarian Database

The OCHA/SLIS Who/What/Where Database is now in its final stages of data inputting. This project collects information regarding village interventions from Donors, UN Agencies, NGOs and implementing government agencies. The data and analysis will be available on the National Recovery Strategy (NRS) monitoring system CD. The monitoring system was established to monitor the benchmarks of the NRS. The outputs of the system are a series of government validated Data Packs, which include an analysis of recovery and analytical maps, to be used as a planning tool for resource allocation.

Validation of Data Packs

OCHA/SLIS reports that the respective government ministries have almost completed validation of the data collected from the District Recovery Committees (DRC) and many of the sectoral Data Packs have already been printed. The monitoring system and the Data Packs will be distributed to the humanitarian community and the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) by the end of October. This will then be followed by a comprehensive extension programme for DRCs on data analysis and interpretation, to enable them to use the data in their day to day planning at the district level. The monitoring system is also aimed at monitoring the benchmarks of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in 2004.

Information Management Committee

A Committee responsible for developing standards in data collection, archiving and sharing was established at the beginning of September under the Technical Committee of the National Recovery Committee and the National Statistics Coordinating Committee. The Committee is chaired by Statistics Sierra Leone and OCHA/SLIS and is in its early stages of development.

UNOCHA/SLIS Support to Liberia

The OCHA/SLIS Sierra Leone manager recently returned from a one-month mission to surge capacity in the building up of HIC in Liberia. Products now produced by HIC Liberia include a contacts database, a Who/What/Where database, maps including, a country map, UN and NGO access, security phases, IDP locations and populations among others. All of these are accessible on the web at www.humanitarianinfo.org/liberia. Large planning maps (A0) of Liberia, the Monrovia region and Central Monrovia are also available in PDF format for printing.

REFUGEES

Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone

Latest figures show just over 66,000 Liberians in Sierra Leone. Some 54,300 of which are in eight camps and way stations in the east and south of the country. UNHCR reveals that the repatriation of Liberian refugees in the eight camps in the country could begin as early as November 2004 depending on the elections and the peace process in Monrovia.

HCR preparing to repatriate Sierra Leonean refugees

A UNHCR-Monrovia team conducted a two-day assessment mission to the Sierra Leonean border to assess conditions for the land repatriation of some estimated 14,000 Sierra Leonean refugees still in Liberia. They report that the roads from Monrovia to the border are good, but that those from the border to Zimmi way station in Sierra Leone need major repairs. UNHCR is currently sponsoring road rehabilitation in the eastern parts of the country for this repatriation. Reception conditions are already in place at the Zimmi way station. The repatriation of the refugees who are reported to be in desperate conditions could begin via road along the Pujehun access in Small Bo, next month, pending security in Liberia. Meanwhile UNHCR has resumed repatriation by sea of Sierra Leoneans in Liberia.

Over in Liberia

Registration continues in camps for IDPs in and around Monrovia. UNHCR, in collaboration with its partners, continues to provide relief supplies for the displaced Liberians. The transit shelters at these IDP camps are reported to be almost full, and the relocation of displaced Liberians from Monrovia has been put on hold until more shelters can be built.

CFA concern over returnees leaving without ration

The Committee for Food Aid is concerned that returnees have been resettled, leaving behind their last resettlement food packages. Once back in home areas resettled returnees are not going to distribution points to collect their final tranche of food . There are concerns that in the final months of the rainy season and before crops are harvested this could adversely affect the nutritional status of the returnee populations. Already in Kailahun, most households are reported to be living on cassava and other tuber crops, as they cannot afford the regular preferred staple diet. The deteriorating roads leading to the district compounded by the rains further worsens the scarcity of rice.

Coordinating camp activities

OCHA in collaboration with NaCSA organised a weeklong training for camp supervisors in refugee camps in the south and east of the country. Trainings covered basic humanitarian principles, Standards of Accountability, Code of Conduct etc.

UNHCR runs campaign on Lassa Fever

UNHCR reports that the spread of Lassa fever in refugee camps has been brought under control except in Jimmi Bagbo camp, where several cases continue to be registered. The office recently conducted a campaign to eradicate rats from the Camp in Bo District, which houses over 6,000 mainly Liberian refugees. The campaign, which was funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO), was done in collaboration with IRC and Merlin. IRC had also distributed rat glue to family booths and warehouses in the camp.

Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever is an acute viral illness transmitted by rats that is common in West Africa. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including fever, chest pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and loss of hearing. Humans can be infected by inhaling tiny droplets of virus-laden rodent excreta, eating contaminated food or simply by absorption through the skin. If untreated, it can result in death.

Agricultural aid in refugee camps

CARE provided refugee farmers in Jembe and Gerihun camps with hunting nets and metal traps for rodent control. They also supplied Inland Valley Swamp (IVS) rice seeds to the refugees. FAO, in collaboration with NaCSA, the Ministry of Agriculture and UNHCR, completed the verification of the second cropping IVS and groundnut farms in Jimmi Bagbo, Taiama and Bandajuma. This project will target women groups for vegetable and groundnut farming. Distribution of seeds for farm families and vulnerable families has already commenced in these camps. In other developments, following the EFA conducted workshops on the impact of environmental deforestation in Gerihun and Jembe Camps, the refugees planted 300 fast growing trees in Gerihun to serve as windbreakers for the protection of the booths and the prevention of deforestation in the environment.

Enhancing security at refugee camps

UNHCR conducted a security-training workshop at Tobanda camp for 25 refugee wardens (15 male, 10 female). In order to maintain law and order in the camps, police posts have now been established in Jimmy Bagbo, Jembe, Bandajuma and Gerihun Camp.

UNHCR holds review workshop in Kailahun

The Reintegration Unit of UNHCR conducted a one-day workshop to review progress made so far in implementing projects approved under the Community Empowerment Programme (CEP). The workshop concluded that implementation was progressing as planned and partners were able to share experiences on best practices and operational challenges.

Sensitizing refugees on girl's education

Refugee teachers conducted a mass sensitization of refugees in the Largo Camp on the importance of education, as it was realized that many illiterate refugee parent were not sending their children to school. In this light, IRC organized a 10-day summer school session in all the camps targeting girls from classes 4 through JSS 2 levels, as part of a new initiative to reduce female dropout rates and increase classroom participation. IRC warns of an urgent need for new educational facilities at Tobanda camp

IRC aids rape victims in Zimmi Way Station

In collaboration with IRC, five cases of gang rape were identified at the Zimmi Way Station and later evacuated to the Blama Way Station for medical attention. Rape cases up country are generally reported to be low due to the procedures required for prosecuting suspects of sexual violence. Victims are required to produce medical report as evidence but most cannot afford the high medical fees of the doctors. The victims therefore suffer their pains in silence without pursuing any legal action. The District Officer has requested that the doctors make a minimum charge that could be afforded by most victims

Sanitation facilities in camps

Health situation at the Gondama and Taiama Camps is reported to be critical as many toilets have been abandoned and all garbage pits are full. MSF/F has reduced the number of latrines they planned to construct from 200 to 100 due to the non-cooperation of refugees in excavating pits at Gondama. UNHCR is currently working with the refugee executives to redouble sensitisation efforts in the camp. Meanwhile GTZ has relocated their water tanker from Kailahun to Zimmi, thereby greatly improving the water situation at the way station.

SEXUAL ABUSE

Preventing sexual exploitation and abuse

The Coordinator of the Committee on the Coordination of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CCSEA) conducted two centralised SEA prevention trainings during the month. A total of 34 employees from 11 different international and national NGOs, UN Agencies and government organizations attended the trainings. The OCHA-based Coordinator is planning six more trainings for the remainder of the year to be done in Freetown and Makeni. A facilitator's workshop is planned for October to finalise the training manual that would be distributed to all agencies as a resource tool. The Committee is also developing a poster campaign for beneficiaries and NGOs regarding Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

OCHA disseminates Service Provision Map

The September update of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Service Provision Map was disseminated to humanitarian actors within the country. OCHA envisions that two more updates will be provided before the end of the year.

CCSEA develops plan for 2004

The members of the CCSEA have started the planning process for 2004 to be presented to the UNCT for consideration. Possible activities for next year include an initial gap analysis to determine the present status and the way forward. It has been emphasized that activities should not be planned that rely on other agencies.

REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

EASTERN REGION

Kailahun

DRC receives funding for operations

UNAMSIL/Civil Affairs has approved funding for DRC operations in the Kailahun District. In order to ensure accountability, requests for expenditure will be submitted to the Chiefdom Authorities for approval and disbursement of funds. Further requests will only be approved when previous amounts have been properly accounted for.

WFP office in Kailahun almost complete

The construction of the WFP Field Office in Kailahun by NRC is close to completion. The construction of food warehouse/distribution centres in five refugee camps by NRC, also funded by WFP, is in progress. NRC has completed and handed over the warehouse at Taiama to WFP.

Education

NRC conducted a five-day training workshop on the content and methodology for level II Scheme of Work, and preparation of school records for 97 CREPS teachers in Kailahun. They distributed teaching and learning materials to all 35 CREPS centres and 10 RREP classes at Kangama and Buedu in Kailahun District.

UNICEF funds training of community health

Funded by UNICEF, the District Health Management Team is undertaking training of several community-based organizations to equip them in the delivery of quality services. Ex-combatants have also been trained as Vaccinators, and Blue Flag Volunteers training has just been completed in three chiefdoms in the district. Presently, refresher training is going on for Maternal Child Health Assistants. The training exercises are meant to supplement the gap of inadequate medical staff in the district.

MEST moves into newly rehabilitated office

The Inspectorate Office of MEST has moved to its new office location at the government reservation in Kailahun. The office was rehabilitated by NRC/UNICEF and is yet to be fully furnished.

Kono

UNAMSIL conducts Human Rights Workshop

UNAMSIL Human Rights Office in Koidu organised a two-day workshop for Human Right Monitors in the Kono District. The aim of the workshop was to train the monitors on methods of monitoring and reporting techniques on gender abuses, the rights of children and the protection of women and children in the administration of justice. The human right monitors are expected to identify human right abuses during court sittings, in police stations and within the community.

NRC in Kono

NRC has resumed the rehabilitation of the KDEC School, Dewadu, which was temporarily halted due to the reconstruction of a bridge. The project should be completed in early January. NRC conducted a three-day preparatory workshop in Kono for 75 CREPS teachers. The workshop focused on providing training in the core subjects for levels (ii) and (iii) using the harmonized scheme of work developed by NRC supervisors. The CREPS classes commenced on 08 September with a fairly encouraging attendance. Distribution of teaching/learning materials to the centres has also commenced.

NGOs concerned about Paramount Chiefs

At the interagency meeting in Kono the NGOs complained of the non-resident of Paramount Chiefs in their chiefdoms. The chiefs were reported to spend most of their time in the headquarter town of Koidu. The NGOs noted that this is negatively impacting on their work, as the presence of the chief is needed for authority and community participation in their development interventions. The Paramount Chiefs on the other hand complained of lack of accommodation, as the government is yet to build the promised chief compound in every chiefdom. The chiefs also justified their stay due to untimely government interventions and therefore need to be in Koidu regularly to access relevant information.

NRC completes shelter for amputees and war-wounded

NRC has completed the construction of 17 houses in three locations in the Kono District for the amputees and war-wounded. The beneficiaries and their family members have been resettled to the houses. In a related development, tender documents for the construction of 35 houses for the amputees and war-wounded in the Western Area, Moyamba, Tonkolili, Koinadugu and Bombali Districts have been sent out and construction activities are to commence in October.

UNAMSIL/DDR launches peace-building programme

On 26 September, the UNAMSIL/DDR Coordination unit in Koidu, launched its reintegration and transition to peace building programme, jointly sponsored by the UNV/UNAMSIL and UNDP. The project with funding of $750,000 for a two-year period is geared towards the socio-economic reintegration, reconciliation and peace building in communities.

Kenema

NaCSA launches NSAP in the east

NaCSA launched the National Social Action Project (NSAP) for the eastern region in Kenema District on 19 September. The new approach is aimed at working directly with communities for identification, appraisal and implementation of projects. Without the NGO as implementing partner, the new approach will hopefully empower communities in managing their own poverty alleviation interventions leading to a sustainable development. However the commission is yet to train the stakeholders in the communities to build up their capacity in order to face the challenges of the new approach of direct community financing.

SDO warns residents for using refugees as cheap labour

The Senior District Officer of Kenema held a sensitisation meeting with his people at Fiama, following reports of Liberian refugees engaged in mining activities. The meeting was organised to inform and warn chiefdom authorities about the trend of using refugees as cheap labourers in illegal mining, timber business and other purposes.

Kenema DRC at work

The Kenema DRC continues with preparations for the Kenema District NRC meeting in November. However, response by line ministries is noted to be dissapointing.

NCDDR registers new ex-combatants

The NCDDR in Kenema have registered new ex-combatants as new arrivals from Liberia. The deadline for ex-combatants to register was extended to the end of August, as the programme will be officially closed by end of December 2003.

CRS aids TB patients in Panguma hospital

CRS has signed an MOU with KDHCO to feed TB patients receiving their treatment at Panguma Hospital in Kenema District.

Education

UNICEF conducted a "Rehabilitation of basic Education Project" TOT workshop, with 18 facilitators, training 50 participants on the professional development of unqualified and untrained (UU) teachers. The Kenema District Education Officer has identified 508 male and 76 female UU teachers to be trained by the participants.

Deteriorating condition of roads from Kenema to Kailahun

CRS has extended its MOU with UNDP/SLRA for road construction in the area. Though the SLRA is making a lot of efforts to fill the potholes on the Kenema-Kailahun roads, the heavy rains does not make a chance for their work to be noticed. The deplorable condition of the roads has rendered it risky for driving and consequently led to the increase in prices of goods to the district.

UNHCR assesses Kenema airfield

UNHCR Technical Unit in collaboration with Logistics Unit and the pilots of AirServ undertook a brief assessment of the Kenema Airfield. The assessment revealed that potholes on the runway need to be filled with concrete to prevent damage to flights during landings and takeoffs.

NORTHERN REGION

UN/OCHA - facilitating humanitarian work

UN/OCHA has developed and circulated a directory of humanitarian organization in the northern region to humanitarian organizations in the north.

NAFSL distributes seed rice to farmers

The National Association for Farmers in Sierra Leone (NAFSL) has completed distribution of seed rice to several communities in the northern region. Regional, district and chiefdom executives were formed to manage the affairs of the organization.

HIV.AIDS awareness

With funding from SHARP, the CBO, Praise Foundation conducted an eleven-day workshop on HIV/AIDS, targeting 50 participants who were mainly commercial sex workers, disadvantaged youths and single parent mothers.

UNDP funds prisons rehabilitation

Rehabilitation and reconstructions works continues on prison facilities in Port Loko, Koinadugu, Kambia and Tonkolili District headquarter towns with funding from UNDP. The intervention is designed to create more humane conditions for prisoners and enhance security to prevent jailbreaks.

Kambia

Youth Pack in Kambia District

NRC Youth Pack classes in Rokupr, Kukuna, Mambolo and Kasiri re-opened on 01 September. Average attendance was comparatively low for the month. Some sensitization is ongoing to inspire trainees to attend the sessions more regularly. NRC also commenced the distribution of uniforms and school bags to CEIP beneficiaries in the area. The CREPS schools in Kambia reopened for the second academic year on 22 September and the newly developed Scheme of Work was introduced to the teachers as a guide in their lesson plan and work progress.

UNICEF holds planning workshop in Kabala

UNICEF held a one-day planning workshop at Kabala to present to the Koinadugu DRC and community stakeholders, their four-year intervention plan in the Koinadugu District. Activities ranging from health, Watsan, education, child protection and HIV/AIDS will cover each chiefdom in the district.

Port Loko

School feeding for Makeni and Port Loko

The WFP in collaboration with MEST made a trip to Makeni to discuss the implementation criteria and the roles of various stakeholders for the new development of School Feeding Programme. Discussions were held with the Inspectorates, District Coordinators, and school proprietors in Makeni and Port Loko.

MEST gives in-service training to teachers in the North

Inspectors of schools and teachers in the region have been providing in-service training to upgrade the level of teachers in the profession. The exercise is expected to help teachers provide standard and quality education for children in the region.

Tonkolili

WFP's new office and local court in Magburaka

WFP have signed a letter of understanding with NRC for the construction of an office in Magburaka, Kholifa Rowalla Chiefdom. Tenders for the project have been sent out to contractors and work will commence soon. Also UNDP is supporting the rehabilitation of the local court in Magburaka.

Tonkolili DRC in progress

With technical support from UNAMSIL Civil Affairs and UN/OCHA, a draft copy of the Tonkolili DRC report has been forwarded to stakeholders in Freetown. Upon approval, the final document would be produced for the forthcoming NRC/DRC on 14 November.

SOUTHERN REGION

UNDP supports District Offices

UNDP supported GOSL District Offices in the southern region with computers and accessories, communications equipment and one 6KVA generator each.

Ministry of Trade sensitizes communities on mining

The Deputy Minister of Trade visited the southern and eastern regions to sensitize communities and growth centres on the reactivation of co-operative societies as a means of contributing to social capital development and to boost production levels. This was done in support of the Minister's request for UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) to support the establishment of small-scale industries nationwide and to help boost agricultural produce, improving on farmers' income and standards of living.

UNOCHA/ NaCSA holds meeting on flood incidence in the region

Following reports and radio announcements of floods in the Bo, Bonthe and Pujehun Districts, UN/OCHA, NaCSA and other agencies convened a meeting to address humanitarian concerns of the communities affected. Though the floods did not last for long, extensive acreage of farmland and shelter were destroyed.

Bonthe

UN/OCHA facilitates preparation of the Bonthe DRC

UN/OCHA facilitated the Bonthe DRC members to compile the DRC report in preparation for the joint session of the Bonthe District NRC/DRC meeting scheduled for 28 October. At the DRC meeting for Moyamba District, highlights included the submission of the various site visit reports conducted during the joint NRC/DRC meeting of 12 August and action plan for the preparation and submission of the NRC/DRC meeting report. In a similar vein at the Pujehun DRC, focus was on monitoring the progress of the recovery activities in relation to the pledges made during the joint session of NRC/DRC meeting that was held on 27 May. Meanwhile, the Bo District DRC has not met for quite some time now despite repeated contacts by UN/OCHA, UNAMSIL Civil Affairs, and the DRC Chairman and the District and Provincial Administration.

Bo

Teacher College receives college bus

The Bo Teachers College benefited from the joint efforts of the MEST and Ministry of Transport and Communication with the provision of one college bus for the Institution. Similar assistance was accorded to the Bo Government Secondary School (one bus) and the other schools in the entire township, who also received two school buses.

Deputy Minister of Mines meets with chiefdom elders and Investors

The Deputy Minister of Mines met with Investors and elders of the Valunia Chiefdom to begin talks on the reactivation of the gold mines at Baomahun. Though the communities out rightly rejected the proposed mining, the Minister pleaded with the communities to show understanding and accept a second mining company to operate in the chiefdom.

World Bank/ADB support teacher training

A training programme funded by World Bank and the African Development Bank is intended to benefit 10,000 untrained and qualified teachers through a phased nine weeks programme at Njala, Koribondo and Bo. Some 1,500 teachers are presently attending the training at the above-mentioned locations in the Bo District.

NaCSA hands over health facilities

The Commission has completed and handed over one health centre to Baoma, Baoma Chiefdom and a health post to Telu Bunger, Jiaima Bongor Chiefdom. The project was implemented under the Social Action and Poverty Alleviation (SAPA) programme in support of communities' development needs.

Free limb fitting for amputees

The Global Ministry of London had provided amputees with free limb fitting equipment and supplied crutches to them, at the Bible Training and Vocational Institute in Bo.

WESTERN AREA

Sensitisation on the DRCs

OCHA, UNAMSIL and the GoSL have finished conducting a series of workshops on the roles and functions of the District Recovery Committee (DRC), for its committee members in the Western rural area. OCHA is currently putting a report together on the workshop and recommendations will be forwarded to the National recovery Committee, through the technical committee. One main problem the community highlighted during the workshop was the manner in which agencies implement projects in their communities without being accountable to target beneficiaries. The community also expressed a strong will for local government elections to be held on a non-partisan basis. The District Recovery Committee (rural) was launched on 04 September. The DRC continues sensitisation of communities on the recovery process.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.