Naymote-Partners for Democratic Development begins a series of major town hall meetings to create awareness about the benefits and support from citizens on the Local Government Act of 2018.
“Advancing Civic Engagement on the benefits and support for LGA 2018” is being implemented in Bong, Nimba, Lofa and Grand Gedeh counties.
UNDP is providing support to the awareness campaigns, which are gear toward increasing citizens understanding of the Act and inspiring them to lead or drive the changes needed for the decentralization process.
President George Weah signed the Local Government Act into law in September of 2018, after it was passed by the Legislature.
NAYMOTE Program Officer Joshua D. Cleon says the quest of the organization is to ensure that citizens have access to copies of the law to help them understand it better.
At the dialogue held in Gbarnga, Bong County, Superintendent Esther Y. Walker described the initiative as timely and commended Naymote and partners for such support.
Madame Walker urged stakeholders attending the dialogue to use the opportunity to also spread the word, by engaging others in schools, public places, intellectual centers, markets and other areas on the benefits of the act.
“When you leave here today please talk to someone about the local government act, on the football field, in the markets, in the cars, in our different offices- let’s continue to talk about this act,” Walker stressed.
She also admonished women and traditional leaders to lead the campaign in all towns and villages. “Please help Naymote in this awareness because it is very important for our people to understand the good things that are contained in the law,” says Walker.
The participants praised Naymote-Partners for Democratic Development for deepening their knowledge on the Local Government Act, describing the exercise as an eye opener.
“This one-day awareness forum on the Local Government Act actually is not enough but it has sharpened my knowledge on governance and I am going to engage my institute to ensure that we can get a copy so we teach the kids,” said Joseph Suah in Gbarnga.
Sam B. Elliot, Chairman of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of the government run Gboveh High school lauded Naymote-Partners for Democratic Development for the awareness and recommended that the Local Government Act be included in the National Curriculum of the Ministry of Education.
The Local Government Act provides the legal and regulatory framework for Decentralization and Local Governance reforms in Liberia.
It is a cardinal legal instrument, which is considered germane to the Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
Since 2015, local governance has been a crital part of intitiatives supported under the Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP).
Funding to the LDSP has come from the European Union (EU), Swedish Government, USAID, UNMIL and UNDP, implemented through the Ministry of Internal Affairs.