The South West Development Authority, SOWEDA, and the South West Chiefs Conference, SWECC, have discussed a roadmap on stimulating development across the region.
The General Manager of SOWEDA, Dr Besong Ntui Ogork welcomed the 13-member powerful delegation from the South West Chiefs’ Conference at the Conference hall of the organisation recently.
Both parties shared ideas on how to better push forward the development of the region. The visit by the chiefs comes at a time when the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of the North West and South West region is on course to be implemented with SOWEDA being a key partner.
According to the chiefs led by the SWECC President Chief Martin Mafany Njie, the visit was to know the development agenda of the organisation.
“…we are concerned with SOWEDA, knowing their program, what program they have for the South West region concerning our roads and development, water catchments, market places, health centres”.
The General Manager of SOWEDA Besong Ntui Ogork, said the organisation was humbled to be visited by the custodians of the traditions of the region adding that it was an opportunity for them to foster cooperation with their stakeholders.
“…SOWEDA works with the rural communities and the chiefs are coming from these villages. For the chiefs to come to us is a great opportunity that we hope to take advantage of and we hope that in future projects we will definitely see a rise in the participation of the various communities,” Ogork noted.
The management of the development agency also took the opportunity of meeting with the chiefs to elaborate to them the ten year development plan envisaged by the organisation for the region.
The plan will span the period between 2021-2030 with a main goal being to transform the region, with new roads and other infrastructures necessary for the wellbeing of the population.
The South West Development Authority is a government financed institution . Thus the organisation’s management urged the custodians of tradition to use their influence to lobby for more resources for the organisation. This funds according to management will help the organisation achieve its development agenda.
The General Manager however decried the fact that most of their agents who go out to the field do not always get the participation deserved in order to effectively implement their development program. Thus he urged chiefs to do their best to mobilise their communities to always welcome development partners, whether SOWEDA or any other development agency.
He insisted that they should encourage their populations to show more interest in the development of their villages.Dr Besong Ntui Ogork also challenged the chiefs to help expand the lifespan of infrastructures realised by the organisation.
“We also talked about the sustainability of the projects that SOWEDA realises. We do infrastructure, rural structures, a couple of years down the line you go back to the village and you realise that it is no longer functional because maybe the community got tired at some point. So for all these to be sustainable, you cannot bypass the ruling authority in the village, so the chiefs coming here gives us a leverage and an aspect of sustainability of our projects in the field,” the SOWEDA boss explained.
After the meeting, the chiefs visibly satisfied with their exchanges, pledged to work with SOWEDA for the reconstruction of the region. “So we have got enough, because the GM has explained to us the program he has for the region, what is in the pipeline and what has already been done. The chiefs are going to work in partnership with SOWEDA in the reconstruction of the region,” The leader of the SWECC delegation noted.
On his part, SOWEDA’s General Manager promised he was going to work with the chiefs and all denizens of the region to reconstruct it. “The collaboration between the chiefs and SOWEDA is crucial as far as reconstruction is concerned because we have to go to the villages and the chiefs are the authorities of the various villages. Some of the chiefs are in active service out of their villages, but they have stable institutions representing them,” Orgoke said.
By SHING TIMOTHY