The Karene District Council, with support from the European Union, the Government of Sierra Leone and the people, celebrated the commissioning of a newly constructed Market, Rehabilitated Community Multi-purpose Hall, Water and Sanitation Facilities, and newly constructed Bridges and Culverts in Kamakwe Town.

These infrastructural developments in Kamakwe and other parts of Karene district are significant development advantages that benefit the district’s people in many ways.

The EU’s support is to strengthen the Council’s capacity to deliver on its core mandate and to boost the district’s economic and social infrastructure, such as rural roads, bridges, provision of clean water and sanitation facilities, providing access for farm products to markets, creating inter-connectivity within the district for access to health and education centers to improve the wellbeing of citizens in the communities. The support is particularly designed for marginalized groups in the communities, such as women and youths.

The Ambassador of the European Union to Sierra Leone, Manuel Müller highlighted the positive impact of EU-funded projects in Karene District, including infrastructure improvements like bridges, culverts, water points, roads, market structures, and a multipurpose hall. These investments aim to enhance the lives of Karene residents while bolstering the council’s financial resources for effective governance. Ambassador Müller emphasized the EU’s commitment to supporting Sierra Leone’s development agenda, particularly through projects in various districts nationwide.

“Over the years, the EU has worked with local councils because they have an insider understanding of local challenges and are strategically placed to address these issues.”

He further stated, “EU intervention promotes accountability and service delivery, especially with the support that came through the Support to Civil Society and Local Authorities for Local Development in Sierra Leone Project, which adds revenue generation to the mix.” Ambassador Müller encouraged the people to continue paying taxes so the council could undertake more projects.

The event saw the esteemed presence of notable dignitaries, including Abdul Kandeh Turay, Chairman of Karene District Council. Their presence underscored the significance of this endeavor in fostering inclusive growth and enhancing public service delivery for the community.

“The commissioning of these facilities marks a new chapter in the development trajectory of Karene District,” remarked Chairman Abdul Kandeh Turay. “We are committed to ensuring that these resources are utilized effectively to benefit all residents and contribute to the overall progress of our district.”

The Chief Administrator of Karene District Council, Sorie Gbawuru Sillah, also reflected on the council’s journey since its formation in 2016. Despite early challenges, EU support has provided essential resources like vehicles and motorbikes, enabling smoother operations.

Sillah expressed gratitude for the EU project, citing its pivotal role in advancing their development aspirations, emphasizing the cadastral system, which is new to the council and set to bolster its revenue generation hugely. Equipped with newfound project and financial management skills, he believes that they are poised to administer the district council for effective service delivery to the citizens. He emphasized their commitment to maximizing the benefits of the investments by introducing the sustainable public-private partnerships model.

“Development happens when the people are happy and peaceful, and the government has reliable development partners like the European Union,” remarked the Hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs, Alfred Moi Jamiru. “Through collaboration with the European Union, we continue to prioritize enhancing public service delivery and promoting sustainable development in our communities.”

Providing an overview of the project, DAI Project Management Unit Lead, Lameck Siage celebrated its 100% success rate and expressed satisfaction with achieving project objectives. Siage highlighted the diverse impacts of the project, including construction works, water facilities, road improvements, and capacity development for councils. Karene District marks the culmination of the project’s implementation, with Siage expressing gratitude to the EU for their unwavering support.

“What remains now is for the Karene district to ensure that they maintain and benefit from these investment facilities. We applaud the Karene District for its cooperation in implementing this project and appreciate our work together in this district,” Mr. Siage said.

The newly inaugurated market and stalls provide local traders with a conducive environment to safely and securely showcase their products. The refurbished multipurpose hall also stands as a symbol of modernity, offering a venue for official gatherings and social events within Karene District.

Implemented with technical assistance from DAI, this initiative is part of the European Union’s broader efforts to support Civil Society Organisations and District Councils in Kenema, Bombali, Falaba, Kambia, Karene, and Pujehun. This project exemplifies our unwavering commitment to promoting sustainable development and fostering resilience within Karene District and beyond.