It was a momentous and joyous occasion for the people of the newly established Falaba District, as they witnessed the historic commissioning of critical infrastructure facilities constructed in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone and the District Council and supported with funds by the European Union.

Hundreds of jubilant indigenes of Falaba District, including youth, women and people from all walks of life, joined distinguished guests, including the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs, Amb. Tamba Lamina and EU Delegation in Sierra Leone Ambassador Manuel Muller, alongside parliamentarians, paramount chiefs, local council leadership, government officials, the private sector, development partners, and other dignitaries from Falaba District to witness the maiden inauguration of key infrastructure projects.

These include the newly constructed multipurpose halls, market structures, grain stores, drying floors, and other essential facilities in Mongor and other surrounding communities. This significant event signifies a leap forward in the district’s development journey, made possible through the collaborative efforts of the European Union (EU) and the Government of Sierra Leone.

Known for its immeasurable agricultural productivity, Falaba, which was initially part of Koinadugu District, was established in 2016, with Mongo Bendugu serving as its district headquarter town. Falaba District now borders Koinadugu and Bombali Districts in the Northern Region and the Republic of Guinea.

Being a new district, Falaba has faced challenges in establishing administrative infrastructure, compounded by funding constraints. However, these challenges are being addressed thanks to the EU-funded “Support to Civil Society and Local Authorities for Local Development in Sierra Leone” project.

The project supports Falaba’s administrative infrastructure and demonstrates a tangible commitment to strengthening the local council’s capacity to deliver on its core mandate of providing social services for the well-being and prosperity of the district’s residents.

The partnership between the EU and the Government of Sierra Leone has been instrumental in driving sustainable development initiatives in the region, emphasizing good governance and community empowerment.

EU Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Manuel Muller, expressing his delight at the event, noted: “This occasion marks our symbolic support to the Falaba District Council by building their capacity to respond to the development aspirations of its people and enhance sustainable service delivery at the community level. Today, we have witnessed a strong representation of women and young people in the Falaba District Administration. However, I am also encouraged by the active participation of community members in contributing to the district’s development through tax payments, which further supports the council’s endeavors. This project reaffirms the EU’s dedication to promoting sustainable development and fostering socio-economic growth of Falaba District.”

The project aims to enhance public service delivery by empowering District Councils to catalyze good governance and sustainable development. Through capacity-building initiatives and support for local revenue generation, it seeks to improve access to essential services, promote sustainable agricultural practices, and develop critical rural infrastructure.

The newly constructed multipurpose hall will serve as a focal point for official and social events. At the same time, market stores, grain storage facilities, and drying floors will contribute to food security and generate income for the council. Bridges and culverts will improve connectivity, ensuring residents can access education, healthcare, and marketplaces.

Moreover, the project has strengthened the institutional capacity of the Falaba District Council in various areas, including development planning, public finance management, land and property management, logistics support, and solar energy supply. Notably, it has supported the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating adaptability and resilience in addressing emerging challenges.

Falaba District Council Chairman Ibrahim Sorie Sesay expressed his appreciation for the supportive project, stating, “This initiative has been instrumental in benefiting numerous communities and the people of the district. It has facilitated the acquisition of essential office equipment and provided access to electricity with installed solar panels, which has contributed to increased productivity and efficiency of the council staff while also generating revenue through a cadastre system. He emphasized the milestone achieved in empowering the district to address the needs of residents better, foster economic growth, and deliver services to various communities.”

Implemented with technical assistance from DAI, the project extends its support to Civil Society Organisations and District Councils across several districts, including Falaba, Kambia, Kenema, Bombali, Karene, and Pujehun. It represents a holistic approach to local development, emphasizing community participation, sustainability, and inclusive growth.