2nd August, 2021
The Public Education and Outreach Department of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has concluded awareness raising on the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) component of the Social Safety Net (SSN) in COVID-19 Response Programs in Blama Town, Small Bo Chiefdom, Kenema District and Feija Village, Njaluhun Chiefdom, Kailahun District respectively.
The meetings, held on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th July, 2021 respectively, were meant to continue empowering beneficiaries of the World Bank-supported SSN COVID-19 cash transfer project on the use of the funds and the need to keep the project corrupt-free. These followed a similar meeting held in Chenedu, Gbense Chiefdom, Kono District on Monday 26th July, 2021.
During the engagements, Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Department, ACC, Abubakarr Turay, explained to the beneficiaries that the One Million Three Hundred and Nine Thousand Leones (Le 1,309,000) quarterly payments are meant to improve the livelihood of extremely poor people. He said the direct cash transfers should be used for the provision of food, education, housing, medical expenses and business purposes.
Mr. Turay admonished the beneficiaries and community stakeholders to protect the integrity of the project and report any incidences of corruption and malpractices to the ACC. “The wellbeing of this project depends on you and you must do all it takes to protect it from any act that will derail its smooth implementation,” he said.
Mr. Turay addressed the issue of beneficiaries who did not receive payments during the last exercise due to their absence or inaccurate data presented to the paying teams. “Be assured that the next payment exercise will address all of these issues and you will therefore receive double payments if you were not paid during the last exercise,” he said.
The Deputy Director also informed his audience about the tireless efforts of the ACC Commissioner, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. to rid the country of the monster of corruption. This has resulted in the country making an 81 percent score in ‘Control of Corruption’ in the MCC Scorecard, the recovery of over 31 Billion Leones, a 95 percent conviction rate and a massive public education and prevention drive.
The SSN District Monitors for Kenema and Kailahun Alex Lansana and Edward Ngegba respectively gave a background of the SSN project and its effect on the beneficiaries.
The Chiefdom Speaker of Small Bo Chiefdom, Ishmael Koroma commended the ACC Commissioner for being so robust in fighting corruption and registered his happiness on behalf of the beneficiaries and the entire chiefdom for the good work done by the Government and the World Bank. Similar sentiments were expressed by the Deputy Town Chief of Feija, Sam Ansumana.
Interactive question-and-answer sessions were part of the engagements.