-Pleebo City Mayor Calls On Next Government
Anthony Harmon, the City Mayor of Pleebo City in Pleebo-Sodoken District, Maryland County is appealing to the next government after the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to increase the County Social Development Fund (CSDF) to US$1million to speed up development activities across the country.
Speaking to a team of investigative reporters in the county recently, Mayor Harmon appreciated the contribution of the current US$200,000 provided by the Unity Party-led government to each county annually, but said the amount should be increased by the next government to reflect the overall development agenda of the country. “US$200,000 for me is a good start, but that should be increased to a million for more substantial and sustainable projects in the country,” he said.
Harmon said Pleebo City in Pleebo-Sodoken District, is still lagging behind because after receiving its portion of the fund, all of its development projects cannot get underway rightly.
He further indicated that the city is not layout, but increasing the allotment to the county will help the city meet its growing needs as a city. “The Pleebo City Council has written over 400 letters for the layout of the city, but yet to realize our dreams. We haven’t received any commitment from any substantial people except the Catholic mission, but almost all of the people are yet to live up to their commitments,” he added.
The Pleebo’s mayor lamented that most of the people written are political aspirants and as such, they are afraid to spend. Since the coming into power of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in 2006, the Govrernment of Liberia decided to change and get the rural people involve in the decision-making process of their community/county development and companies working in their areas.
All of this is to make sure that the rural people can directly benefit from the natural resources (minerals, forest product, and iron ore, taken away from their communities. So, in order to do this, the Government of Liberia in 2007 passed a law and setup a program called the County Development Fund (CDF) and the Social Development Fund (SDF).
Under this program, the government agreed to always put some mon¬ies in the “national budget” for each county in the country to do development work in their county. This is done every year.
The law came into being in 2007, the Government of Liberia has been giving the money to every county in Liberia, but it is alleged that since then, development work has not been going on the way it was expected in the counties.
By Reuben Sei Waylaun