Budget Advocacy Network (BAN) with funding from Christian Aid, has donated food and non-food items, worth over hundred and thirty-eight million Leones, to twenty-two (22) communities and two quarantine homes, in Pujehun district, as part of their intervention in the fight against COVID19.
The distribution was done at the District Coronavirus Emergency Response Centre (DiCOVERC) in Pujehun town amidst a cross section of district stakeholders and beneficiaries.
The donated items include (200) bags of 25kg white rice, (112) bags of Onions, (10) cartoons of Maggie, (41) bags of salt, (100) gallons of cooking oil, (30)Temperature Thermometers, (25) sets of Veronica buckets, (6) cartoons of Hand Sanitizers, (10) cartoons of Liquid Soap and (660) pieces of local facemasks.
BAN also provided fuel, field allowance and DSA support to the social mobilization pillar and the District Civil Society body to monitor border crossing points and give situational updates on the coronavirus to the DiCOVERC and through radio discussion programs.
BAN and RADA are implementing the Health Legacy project in 22 communities in Pujehun district. It is now in its third and final year. Abdulraman Morlson Sesay, BAN’s Senior Program Officer said, instead of the usual project activities and community engagements, the project is now giving direct livelihood support to lactating mothers, disables and the vulnerable people.
The Health Legacy’s main goal is to strengthen community and district structures to work towards a healthy budget that is adequate and effectively managed to improve maternal new-born.
BAN also signed two Memoranda of Understanding with Radio Wanjei, FM 101.1 and Radio Wanjama, FM 100.1 and handed over payment cheques for ten (10) radio programs.
On his part, the District Coronavirus Emergency Response Centre Coordinator, Mohamed Kpana Gbato Kemokai said the gesture came in handy at a time the inter-district lockdown has had a serious economic effect on the people.
He said the gesture would go a long way in salvaging the basic food needs of beneficiaries from those 22 communities.
A total of 68 bags of white rice, 25 kg, 140 packets of salt, 46 bags of onions, 6 thermometers, 60 facemasks, 62 packets of Maggie, 34 gallons of cooking oil, 2 handwashing stations, 40 Sanitizers, and 70 liquid soap was donated to the two quarantine homes in Pujehun district.
The DiCOVERC coordinator said the donated items would go a long way in the fight against COVID 19 in the district, especially the food needs of the patients.
According to Ibrahim B. Swarray, Chairman Civil Society Forum, Pujehun is currently experiencing economic hardship which is attributed to the inter-district lockdown.
He said petty-trading, fishing, farming activities and periodic marketing activities have all scaled down due to restriction on public gathering and in compliance with the social distancing rule.
The recipients thanked BAN for their support at this crucial time of the coronavirus as they reflected on the good work BAN, Christian Aid and RADA have been doing in the health sector to promote participation, accountability and transparency in handling health resources in the district.
Budget Advocacy Network is a conglomeration of seven civil society organizations with both international and national reaches. The seven include Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Christian Aid (CASL), Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD), Transparency International (TI) ActionAid International, Sierra Leone, (AAISL), Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and the Western Area Budget Education Network (WABEAN).
BAN was established in 2006 to work on budgets and budget policies in a bid to enhance policy making and implementation for sustainable and equitable development. This is done to ensure greater inclusiveness in the budget process, increase access to information and improved responsiveness geared towards achieving gender sensitive budgeting, pro-poor budgeting and programs.