Residents of Kokoyah Statutory District in Bong have lauded the Government and people of Norway through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Kokoyah Millennium Village Project (KMVP) in the district.
The Kokoyah Millennium Village Project (KMVP) is a community-based rural development project implemented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in partnership with UNDP Liberia, and the beneficiary communities and the Government of Norway as donor.
The project initially planned for five years, 2008-2013 suffered delays that eventually led to a non-cost extension to May 2014. Initially, the project interventions were spread thinly across many towns in Kokoyah, making it difficult to measure actual results and impact. Specific sector interventions of the KMV project include agriculture, health, education, water and sanitation, community development and local governance with cross cutting themes on gender, youth, environment and information and communication technology (ICT).
A Monitoring team led by UNDP Team Leader for Sustainable Economic Transformation (SET) Pillar recently accompanied the Minister of Internal Affairs Morris Dukuly on a mission of the KMVP in the district.
The Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly said the dream of the Government of Liberia is to make the ultimate use of the opportunity made available by partners to replicate such project in other counties.
“We need to encourage other donors to see the need to have similar projects in other parts of the country, including Belle Yalla, in Gbarpolu County, a once notorious government prison center for political opponents and criminals” Minister Dukuly noted.
UNDP’s Dorsla Farcarthy said the tour was an opportunity for the team to ascertain first-hand information about progress and challenges that the project may be faced with.
During the monitoring mission, results based on interactions with community members, and the visitation of various project sites indicated that the KMVP has scored a number of successes. Residents expressed delight over the level of impact made on their community and surrounding areas by the project.
For example, Kokoyah can now boast of 2 elementary schools, 2 clinics, a cellcom tower, access to feeder roads, a fully functional Village Savings and Loans Association Program, Staff quarters for Staff of both schools etc. Other projects to be completed include a market building, a maternal waiting annex for the Gbercoln Clinic, Botota market rehabilitation, Gbarta School Auditorium etc.
Hanson Zolone is the principal of the Kokoyah Public School. Mr. Zolone says the school which just opened, currently has an enrolment of 198 students.
“The school is serving students from more than five towns and nearly ten villages around the area” Hanson said. The Kokoyah Public School was expanded to an eight classroom building with toilet facility.
Peter Dokpah, principal of the Gbarta Public School said the KMV project has brought some level of relief and development to various towns and villages in the district that could not have been possible in years.
Mr. Dokpah said the construction of the school and the ongoing auditorium project is a relief for students and the people in the area.
“Even though the project has been long overdue, it has brought development to our little towns and villages….Our areas are now accessible and connected with good roads, clinics, market buildings, and solar lights….” Mr. Dokpah said.
The Gbarta Public School is an elementary school in Boiensen district, Kokoyah Statutory district with 265 students from at least ten (10) surrounding towns and villages.
In July 2013, following the transition of the project from UNDP to the Government through the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), the KMV project had a rethink of the intervention strategy, in line with the Government of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation (AfT).
The transition of the project gave the Government of Liberia leadership over implementation efforts, coping with changes under a National Implementation Modality (NIM).
UNDP, on the other hand retained the fiduciary responsibility of the project for quality assurance, as well as reporting to the donor.-Press Release