|Amidst undermining from certain unscrupulous civil servants therein, it is an undisputed fact that Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA) has some of the most committed staff in the civil service today. This dedication was exemplified on Tuesday 14th February 2017 when Eastern Region Senior Social Services Officers like Mr. Mohamed Turay and Mr. Simeon Sandi answered call of Honourable Minister Dr. Sylvia Blyden for them to go and immediately assess fire victims of Nyandehun Leppiama village in the Gbo Section of Kandu Leppiama Chiefdom in Kenema district.
From Kenema town to affected village is 32 miles. But final one mile leading there is a foot path that is not accessible even by motorbike. In utter dedication to the President’s Agenda for Prosperity and the Hon. Minister Blyden’s current mantra of “…the more remotely rural an area, the more important is that area”, the two men rode a motorbike into entry point of the bush path which is at Yonni village and then they walked the remaining one mile on foot through a slim bush foot path.
|A part of the totally burnt down households. Entire village got burnt down
MSWGCA disaster assessment revealed the mystery fire burnt down ALL houses except for one. Also, it resulted in one death and affected dozens of women and children within a total of 26 extended families. The two civil servants also visited the female Paramount Chief of Kandu Leppiama Chiefdom, PC Madam Theressa Vibbi III who said she was not surprised at interest shown by Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden in welfare of her remote Chiefdom people.
“Hon. Blyden has proved her mettle as minister in this short space of time that she has been minister so I am not surprised to see her show concern over this fire disaster,” the longest serving female Kenema paramount chief asserted her pride in the female Cabinet Minister adding that it was under leadership of Hon. Minister Blyden that every section of her Chiefdom received two large cartons each of the Sacrificial Meat from Saudi Arabia. She said in all her years as Paramount Chief since 1969, this was the very first time, under leadership of Sylvia Blyden for the sacrificial meat donation to reach vulnerable persons in her Chiefdom.
|With cross section of the now-homeless villagers|
INDEED, it is a fact that this time, the close supervision of the process of distribution of the Sacrificial meat ensured the meat not only reached the regional levels but it went further in distribution beyond district levels and even down beyond Chiefdom levels. The massive nationwide distribution of thousands of cartons of the sacrificial meat was distributed down to sectional levels. No section of Sierra Leone was left without cartons of the meat reaching them. All the 1,225 sections in all 149 chiefdoms received cartons of the meat under the leadership of Hon. Minister Blyden. No matter how remote the section, they got cartons of the meat.
This time, only truly vulnerable and needy citizens enjoyed the meat donation – just as is meant to happen by the Government of Saudi Arabia which sends it for the needy.
|At Yonni village yesterday 18th February as affected villagers who walked there from Nyandehun, received food, non-food items and temporary shelter tents material through efforts of MSWGCA and partners.
This time, not a single carton was given to any Cabinet Minister or Deputy Minister. Not a single carton was given to any Parliamentarian. Not a single carton was given to Office of the President. Not a single carton was given to Office of the Vice President. Not a single carton was given to any Permanent Secretary. Not a single carton was given to any party stalwart. All the meat was distributed in all corners of Sierra Leone to ONLY vulnerable persons like poor citizens in rural areas whilst in urban areas, only seriously vulnerable citizens like physically disables, received the meat.
Many top civil servants and government functionaries around the country, expressed dismay with the fact that the Hon. Minister did not give them any of the meat this year. An unrepentant Minister insists that her policy is to serve the very needy especially those citizens in remote areas.
Meanwhile, yesterday Saturday February 18th 2017, in collaboration with other partners like ONS, WFP, UN, Red Cross, INStead and Media Houses like Starline radio, the MSWGCA led by one of the Kenema Social Services Officer Mr. Safulai Bah, has taken food and non-food relief items to the affected citizens of Nyandehun Leppiama village.
Awareness Times 21st Feb. 2017