In its bid to give community people the opportunity to meet with their local leaders on a general platform to strengthen community participation in decision making process and to get them involved in local institutional structures through the Peri Urban Community Action for Food Security (PUCAFS) project, Concern Worldwide in collaboration with line ministries in the country on Wednesday 20th October 2010 concluded a one-day dialogue forum for community people and their local leaders at the western rural district Council hall in Waterloo. The programme which attracted councilors, civil servants and others stakeholders was described by the people as timely, saying such forum would give them the opportunity to know about governance and how it affects their respective communities.
In his brief statement, the acting administrator of the Waterloo Rural District Council, Mohamed Banamasy Kamara thanked the NGO for creating such a forum. “This can let people know how the council is disbursing their tax money collected per year,” he told them. He however lamented over the unwillingness by people to pay taxes which he said has made revenue base of the council drop considerably.
The Revenue Coordinator in the council, the Assistant Superintendent of Police of Waterloo Musa Bandabla said low sensitization programmes which were undertaken by the council was responsible for the fall in revenue collection, coupled by the fact that people are not seeing practical evidence that can induce them to pay taxes.
However, questions such as how the people can benefit from the sand mining at Goodrich and how grants given to the council from the government was used were not answered by the council because according to them the chief administrator and the development officer were not present at the ceremony.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.