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Date: 2017-07-07

Town chief of Karamokosoria in Tambakha Chiefdom, Bombali District (now part of Karene District) has recommended that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Sierra Leone should be given a national award for its role in the implementation of the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) of the Social Safety Net Project (SSN).

Chief Foday Suma made this recommendation to participants in a meeting held at the Justyn Curl Primary School in Karamokosoria, in Tambakha. The Town Hall meeting was organized by the ACC for SSN beneficiaries with the aim of disseminating relevant information on the SSN; the aim of the direct cash transfer of Le 250,000 to each household per quarter and the need for prudent use of the money.

The Chief proposed in his loud thoughts that it was necessary for the Government of Sierra Leone to give a special award to the ACC for its fortitude, efficiency and commitment in monitoring the cash transfer to beneficiaries even through the most terrible of roads and inclement weather. Chief Suma said, the presence of the Commission alone represents trust, transparency and certainty, and ensures that the temptations of corrupt activities are completely eliminated. He praised the Government of Sierra Leone for establishing the ACC.

In his statement, Head of Unit, Public Education Michael Sesay, who led the ACC team, explained to participants that the SSN is a Government of Sierra Leone initiative funded by the World Bank and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

He furthered that, the SNN project was designed to provide monetary support to extremely poor households in Sierra Leone. The current phase of the project supports 18,000 households that receive an unconditional cash transfer on a quarterly basis in Bombali, Moyamba, Kono and Western Area Rural Districts, he added.

The Head of Unit further intimated participants that ACC involvement in the SSN was propelled by the fact that direct cash transfer programs have the proclivity of creating a breeding ground for corruption. Therefore an approach on the prevention of corruption and grievance redress mechanisms (GRM) were employed.

Public Education Officer Magnus Bendu, in his submission, said that the role of the ACC in the GRM was detailed to be both proactive and reactive. Proactive in the sense that the Commission will be engaged in sensitization, identification of possible corruption opportunities and monitoring of cash transfer. Reactive in the sense that, it will coordinate grievance redress mechanisms thereby receiving complaints and acting on those complaints. ACC toll free lines were read to the beneficiaries Africel 077 986 986; Airtel 161 and the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign line 515 on all networks in the country.

The meeting was climaxed with a series of testimonies from beneficiaries on the impact of the SSN cash on their lives and avalanche of praises from stakeholders for the ACC, NACSA and GoSL for their roles in ensuring the success of the project which is landmark for poverty alleviation in Sierra Leone.

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