The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd August, 2023, engaged residents of Ropolon 1, in Port Loko District and Magbesseh 1, in Tonkolili District respectively on the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) aspect of the Social Safety Net (SSN).
The SSN project is supported by World Bank and UNICEF, and implemented by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) to help extremely poor households in the rural areas. The GRM aspect of the project is implemented by the ACC to ensure and instil transparency, and provide beneficiaries and members of the public with the opportunity to report their grievances about the implementation of the project.
The engagement was geared towards educating the beneficiaries about the GRM, and to also get feedbacks from them on how well they utilized the money given to them and to bring up any complaints they encounter during the project.
As the SSN project comes to an end to usher in the Productive Social Safety Net and Youth Empowerment (PSSNYE), the ACC is there to see that the project remains transparent and corrupt-free.
Public Education Officer of the ACC, Shiaka Kamara told the beneficiaries that the presence of the ACC in the project is to build the faith of beneficiaries in the project. He elaborated on the role of the Commission, stating that “the ACC will not condone any form of corruption. Full cash payment should be made to every beneficiary and you should not give part of your money to anyone other than members of your household,” he said.
In his presentation, Public Education Officer Bernard Abass Kargbo, while highlighting the role of beneficiaries in the project, admonished the beneficiaries to use the cash for the intended purposes. He said the cash was given to those who are qualified as “the poorest of the poor” to improve their lives, send their children to school, engage in business, and provide food and medical care for themselves and their families.
Assistant Information Officer, Amie Massaquoi, spoke on the various means of reporting any act of corruption or anomalies to the ACC by calling the toll free lines of 077-985-985 or 077-986-986, or by visiting any of the Commission’s offices nearest to their communities. “Be assured that reporting corruption to the ACC is beneficial to you and your households, therefore, do not be hesitant to make your report as the Commission will ensure your identity is anonymous,” she added.
The District Monitors for Port Loko and Tonkolili, Salifu Kamara and Amara Dumbuya respectively, gave an overview of the SSN Project and the mode of selecting beneficiaries. They highlighted many positive feedbacks from beneficiaries and encouraged them to use the cash to improve their livelihoods.
The beneficiaries expressed satisfaction and thanked the Government, UNICEF and World Bank for rendering this help to them which they said has made remarkable improvement and transformation in their lives and livelihoods. They commended the ACC for ensuring the smooth implementation of the project and recounted how they had utilised the cash for its intended purposes.
The meetings were climaxed with the presentation and distribution of the SSN Information, Education and Communication materials to beneficiaries and stakeholders of Ropolon 1 and Magbesseh 1 communities respectively.