The NAYMOTE-Partners for Democratic Development on Saturday, May 4, 2019, concluded a day-long awareness of the Local Government Act of 2018 with over 50 participants attending the forum at the Bong County Women Center in Gbarnga.
The event was attended by scores of local government officials as well as women groups, youth, representatives of civil society organizations and media practitioners from across the county.
The Local Government Act awareness with support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an American pro-democracy institution was intended to strengthen citizens’ understanding of the legal frame work of the local government act, a one year project supported by NED.
Moses Bailey, NAYMOTE coordinator for Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties, said the awareness is being done in Montserrado, Nimba, Bong, Grand Gedeh and River Gee counties.
“Our quest as an institution is to ensure that citizens are aware of the Local Government Act, as well have access to copies of the law that would help them understand its full content,” Bailey said during the Gbarnga awareness program.
The exercise, according to Mr. Bailey, is being conducted among students on their various campuses, civil society actors, women groups, youth groups, the physically challenged people, local leaders, and media practitioners.
President George weah signed the Local Government Act into law in September, 2018.
In separate interviews with this newspaper, participants extolled NAYMOTE for the awareness, which they described as a good beginning.
Mrs. Olivia Weetol, President of the Bong County Women Organization, said since the passage of the Act, the Gbarnga gathering was the first time that afforded them the opportunity to see a copy of the Act.
Weetol noted, “we have heard of the Act, but we don’t really know what is in it, and hope NAYMOTE should take this awareness to other districts for their inputs.”
“This one-day awareness forum on the Act is not enough, but it has sharpened my knowledge on governance. Therefore, I am going to engage my institute to ensure that we can get a copy to teach the kids,” Jerry Porkpah of the Gbarnga-YMCA said.
Hanson Dolo, president of the National Teacher Association Bong County Branch, lauded NAYMOTE for the awareness, and suggested that the Act be included in the National Curriculum and be taught in all schools.
“It is today’s gathering that makes me to know and understand what really the Act is all about,” an elderly man Zacharias Kpoto said.
Jorquelleh District Commissioner, Washington Bonah, thanked NAYMOTE for the opportunity, but appealed to its leadership to create awareness using the various dialects on the community radio stations.
Bonah described that Act as “a very good thing for our people to know, so please take this into the various local languages.”