NaCSA: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 06 June 2020:
Following the declaration of State of Public Health emergency by the Government of Sierra Leone to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) has been on the frontline; providing not only cash transfers, social services and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Persons with Disabilities and other Vulnerable Groups but has also aligned its operational framework with the New Direction aspirations as expressed in the Medium Term National Development Plan (MTND).
In demonstration of its continual commitments to the fight against Covid-19; NaCSA is providing a one-off cash transfer of One Million Three Hundred and Nine Thousand Leones (SLL 1,309,00) to twenty-nine Thousand (29,000) Sierra Leoneans in Western Area districts and regional headquarter towns.
The Covid-19 Emergency Cash Transfer Programme is funded by the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank and it targets households with Vulnerable informal sector workers including those working in micro and small enterprises and low paid workers in the service sector in the capital of Freetown and its environs and regional headquarter towns of Bo, Port Loko, Kenema and Makeni.
Reporting from the Iron ore city of Port Loko, Ms. Marie Caulker, a petty trader and a single mother of three children has this to say: ” I am here to collect money and I want to thank the government of Sierra Leone and NaCSA for visiting us during this trying time. I am a petty trader with little above five hundred thousand Leones as a capital. With this supports-the sum of one million three hundred and nine thousand leones, my capital has been tripled and I am expecting more profits which will enable me to take care of myself and my children.”
In Makeni City, the regional headquarter town of Northern Sierra Leone, Ms. Aminata Sesay appreciated the Government of Sierra Leone for such intervention and promised to properly utilise the benefits for the good of her family. Aminata used to work in the hospitality industry but as a result of the Covid-19, Aminata lost her job.
” … I have two children and I am the head of a family of seven. I happen to be the bread winner with my job as the only source of income for the family. Life became difficult when I lost my job because management didn’t see it necessary to keep more staff. Since then, I have been home doing nothing.
“With this One Million three hundred and nine Thousand Leones that I have received from the government through NaCSA, I am going to start up a business whilst I await to resume work. Once again, I say many thanks to his Excellency the President, Brigadier (Retd) Dr. Julius Maada Bio for his kind gesture and for taking Makeni as his other home” She noted.
From the kamboi hills, re-echoing the jubilant voice of Sadia Koroma; a twenty-nine year old informal sector worker, says the Bio led government is here to help the poor.
” … I was not expecting such not until when I was approach by a group of people from NaCSA who told me that I have been enrolled into the ECT programme. With this money, I am going to start a cookery business. I am hopeful that this money is going to pave my way to be a millionaire. I don’t really know how to thank NaCSA, the Government of Sierra Leone and its partners. Honestly, I am grateful and I know this Government is for the poor,” She concluded.
Running down the hills, the Rangers from Kakua, applauded the ECTs programme and called on implementing partners to ensure the right people are targeted. A son of the soil (name withheld) whose house was aggressively hits by Covid-19; shared his testimony: “… I am happy not because this sum will bring back my love ones. I am particularly happy because this sum is more than enough to resuscitate my business and give me a better life. I thank you all.”
There are plethora of success stories from the field during the Emergency Cash Transfers.
About the author
This story was written by the Sierra Leone government’s National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA).