New County Service Center to be built…citizens urged to take ownershipMar 4, 2016
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Internal Affairs under its de-concentration program has broken grounds for the construction of a Service Center in Rivercess County.
With funding from the European Union (EU) and Managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the CSC is a one-stop shop set up under the Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP) to ensure that major documentation services are accessible to rural residents.
Other partners of the LDSP include the Government of Sweden, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Mission in Liberia (UMMIL).
But, according to Dr. Kamil Kalamuddeen, Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the structures and services will be of no significance or will make no impact if the people do not take ownership of the process.
“Development is a collective endeavor, and it begins with the people, it’s all about the people and it should work for the people. But, the people will need other partners around the table, and that’s why you have the government, the development partners, the private sector and the community….But whatever we do around this table is to support what you want, what you need and what you require to bring out the good energy in you” Dr. Kamaluddeen said.
He said development starts and ends with the people. Adding: “The County Service Center is a seed that we are planting today. And this seed will bear fruits only on the condition that we plant it well, water it well, we take care of it and when the harvest comes, we don’t take the harvest and take the tree with it because that will be the end of the harvest….” The UNDP Country Director said.
The CSC in Rivercess is expected to be completed in 90 days, according toVarney Sirleaf, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Administration.
With a cost of US$58,000.00, UNMIL’s quick impact project has committed to providing US$48,000.00 while GoL will underwrite the balance US$10,000.00.
Dr. Roosevelt Jayjay, National Program Director of the NDIS pointed out that the project is a coordinated efforts of government and partners to ensure people of the county get needed services.
The Swedish Ambassadaor Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary Lena Nordstorm, also spoke at the program in Cestos City.
Ambassador Lena Nordstorm said development is what each and every citizen can do and it never comes about by miracle or by any donor. “It comes from the fact from having a government and ministries that are responsible; it comes from private business actors who are serious about what they do, and it comes from citizens who are active but who are also demanding,” the Swedish Ambassador averred.
She emphasized the importance of the service center to the people of the county and noted that it will provide some jobs and will enable citizens to make demands, get closer to government, make complaints if it’s necessary and get documents that are needed.
“So it will depend on you; on how well this county service center will work, because it can only be developed by everyone’s contribution,” she said, adding that development needs all the resources and cannot be lost along the way which means bringing services closer to the citizens.
At the same time, the European Union Charge d’affairs reconfirmed the EU’s support to Liberia’s decentralization program which she said brings government closer to the people and give people the chance to hold government accountable.
Emma Sundbald stressed that the decentralization program can only be supported by the EU and other donors based on the involvement of Liberia.
Ms. Sundbald encouraged the Legislature to pass the local government act which will create the legal frame work for decentralization.
Rivercess County Superintendent, Matthew Daniels who spoke very emotional at the program accentuated the numerous development Challenges his County endures. Overwhelmed with the expected impact of the CSC on the county, Supt. Daniels said the dream of the people of the county has come true and also encouraged his kinsmen to embrace change regardless their personal feelings.
He promised to work diligently in order to achieve the success of the CSC while committing that his administration will use for progress every penny given the county.
Upon its completion, the CSC will provide varieties of services including the issuance of driver license, marriage certificate, business registration, land deeds, birth certificates and business counselling amongst others.
The CSC building will have 14 rooms which will include 12 offices, a awaiting room and conference hall; it is expected to compete with Grand Bassa Service Center in Buchanan - which has made tremendous progress since it was dedicated in 2015. The Buchanan CSC has attended to over 3,000 clients and generated LD$1.8 million since June 2015.
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