The Minister of Internal Affairs, Morris Dukuly, at the head of a team of officials from the Ministry has ended a one-day field tour of Kokoyah District, Bong County to inspect the Millennium Village Projects ahead of formal dedication in June this year.
The Kokoyah Millennium Village Development Project or KMVDP 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 donors.
The project initially planned for five years, 2008-2013 suffered delays that eventually led to a non-cost extension to May 2014. Initially, project interventions were spread thinly across many towns in Kokoyah, making it difficult to measure actual results and impact.
Minister Dukuly, who expressed satisfaction over the level of work being carried out by contactors on the project, said: “First of all, let me say I’m pleased by what I saw there; progress has been made, but the progress has not been made by Internal Affairs alone, our partners at UNDP, who assure that they will be here and they are here today.”
He commended the UNDP family for its continued effort and support towards the Millennium Village Project.
Minister Dukuly recalled that during his first visit to Kokoyah District, Bong County, he expressed disappointment over some of the school buildings that were constructed long ago.
“I instructed that it should be redone; today,we saw it up, remaining to be roofed. But I’m even more proud because I know when the President comes here, she will be more proud, because when she [earlier] came here, she was upset just as I was disappointed by the first visit in 2013.”
The Internal Affairs boss said his dream is to make good on the Kokoyah Millennium Village Project to encourage other partners to see the need to have similar projects in other parts of the country, adding that his first target is Belle Yalla, in Gbarpolu County, once a notorious government prison center for political opponents and criminals.
For her part, the project coordinator at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Madam Massa Fofana Johnson, assured government and her partners that all the facilities will be completed in readiness for dedication in June.
She said the project was meant for five years but encounters delay due to a change in management from UNDP to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“Also donors were not receiving regular reporting from implementers of the program that delayed almost two years of funding, but since 2013 when we took over as government, we were able overcome that challenge and we’re at the end of the project”, she explained.
Madam Johnson noted that the project cost was initially put at US$5 million, but due to delay in implementation, it has been reduced to roughly US$2.5 million.
The constructions taking place in three towns in Kokoyah District, including Botota, Rock Crusher and Gbarta involving clinics, staff quarter, teacher’s quarter, street solar light, school building, roads, market building and communication towers, among others.-Editing by Jonathan Brown