The newly delineated district from Koinadugu District in Northern Sierra Leone will be named “Falaba District” and the new headquarter located in Bendugu in the Mongo Chiefdom.
The government recently embarked on a de-amalgamation exercise, which has seen Koinadugu District re-divided into 23 chiefdoms with the new Falaba District having 13 Chiefdoms – eight Kuranko Chiefdoms and five Yalunka Chiefdoms.
Sources close to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development have indicated that the decision of Government to divide the former district is born out of the need “to spread out much needed social and economic development to hard-to-reach chiefdoms, which now stand on their own. The concern as to where the district headquarter was to be located had caused the matter to be taken to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and was finally settled at the Presidential Lodge on Friday, 28th April 2017 with President Ernest Koroma chairing the meeting.
Representatives from both the Kuranko and Yalunka Chiefdoms reportedly agreed on the new name for the district as well as the location of the district headquarter.
PC Alimamy Lahai III of Sinkunia Chiefdom, who is the current Chairman of the Koinadugu District Council of Paramount Chiefs, a Yalunka, told this reporter on the phone that he feels good about the outcome of the meeting with the President as it goes further “to reinforce the already peaceful co-existence that has existed between the Kurankos and Yalunkas” for a very long time. “We have had no contention over where the district headquarter would be located. We have always considered ourselves as one and the same,” PC Alimamy Lahai noted.
He added that it is a renewed opportunity for those chiefdoms that have been deprived of much needed social developments. Similar sentiments were expressed by some of the Kuranko Paramount Chiefs.
PC Sheku Marah II in whose Chiefdom the new headquarter would be located said it makes no difference to the people of Falaba District. “We are the same people. We have shared everything in common before now. Bringing us together in one district will only strengthen the existing brotherhood between us,” PC Sheku Marah stated, adding that it will take development to the doorsteps of their peoples and chiefdoms.PC Faselie Kolako Demba Marah of Nyedu Chiefdom said the process will “improve the knowledge of their peoples about the workings of government at the district level being that the district headquarter is now centrally located. “Before now we were facing a lot of challenges accessing essential information from government because of the distance to Kabala. But now that is shortened and it will reduce costs on all of us,” PC Faselie Marah pointed out, adding that the nearness of the district headquarter to all chiefdoms will increase peoples’ participation in the governance of their communities. Kulor and Saradugu Chiefdom are still far away from the new district headquarter, but representatives told this medium that it is better now than when it was located in Kabala.Details of these developments will be put in a Cabinet Paper for discussion at Cabinet level before it is taken to Parliament for ratification. Sources have confirmed that this will be done in due course.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.