Local Gov’t Ministry Engages Traditional Authority, Others

By Donstance Koroma
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has recently conducted training session with traditional leaders and youth chairmen in Port Loko District, North West, which is considered a high risk area.
The training centered on Integrated Border Surveillance, which aims at preventing or mitigating the spread of the virus.
A representative of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Abubakarr Turay, said to win the fight against the virus, traditional authorities and youth chairmen in border and riverine areas need to be engaged in border security, expecially when those areas are used by citizens and non-citizens as routes in and out of the country.
Turay underscored that voices of traditional authorities are influential and respected among rural settings.
Youth chairmen, he noted, have dominant control over youths, noting that the youths are at risk of the virus due to peer pressure when it comes to social distancing.
Youths are moving within and across communities more than any other groups of community people, Turay stressed.
He said the training captured the virus and symptoms, how to disseminate credible information with the right approaches expecially youths in charge of chiefdom checkpoints with no security presence, ethics on how to approach authority to observe both preventive and restrictive measures.
Turay also advised authorities to report any strange faces in their various localities and also inform health workers of any community person showing signs of the deadly virus.
He underscored that the Ebola by-laws were reviewed and developed to reflect the present pandemic for local authorities to enforce.
It could be recalled that the Nightwatch had long before now called on the attention of government regarding the porousness of the country’s borders and riverine areas.

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