Fambul Tok and UN Peace-building fund facilitate Grievance Redress Committee (GRC) monthly meeting on the 13th July 2021 in Ngandorhun Malen village, Lower Pember Section in the Malen Chiefdom, Pujehu
n District. Participants from the nine sections comprises of 49 GRC members, Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs), civil society, Hupanda and Maloa representatives.
The one-day committee meeting forms part of the monthly meetings held by GRC members, which is a chiefdom structure that was formed to discuss issues affecting the chiefdom, and collectively propose actions that will help resolve those disputes as Fambul Tok’s commitment to mitigating locally based conflicts and increasing community resilience in the Malen chiefdom. During the meeting representatives from the nine sections report to the committee the burning issues affecting their chiefdom and the progress made by GRC members in resolving those burning issues.
After opening courtesies Mr. Patrick S Alpha Socfin Agricultural company representative and secretary of the GRC, who also doubles as the paramount chief representative for the meeting, welcome all committee members to the meeting. He expresses gratitude to those in attendance amidst covid 19 and other competing priorities in their various communities, but made it possible to attend. He advised committee members to continue the coordinated effort in settling disputes for sustainable peace in the chiefdom.
The chiefdom mammy queen from Kowa section Haja Adama Sengeh expressed joy that the training received from Fambul Tok has positioned the committee to effectively resolved conflicts in their respective communities. ‘’ I have been an instrument of change in my community with the help of the training and strategies learned, I can now help resolve issues quickly and maturely”, She said.
Patrick S Alpha asserted that Fambul Tok has always maintained its credibility and independence in playing critical role in bringing people together to help resolve their own problems.
Councilor Mustapha Fullah on the other hand alleged, the chiefdom at present has peace but not to be described as a sustainable one. Adding that conflicts at village and sectional level are easily been resolved pointing out that land conflicts in the chiefdom level despite all efforts was far from been addressed as most of the committee members didn’t speak up the truth in bringing out issues in meetings. These are like time bombs that can go off at any moment if not addressed accordingly.
FBO representative Marian Rogers express her concern that there is a conflict over farm land agreement between land owners and the IVS committees supported by WFP at Bamba community, in which the matters is now in the hands of the chiefdom authorities, she further said that community people should understand that the proceeds from the farming goes to the community and not to WFP.
The civil society chairman of Pujehun District Ibrahim B Swaray in his statement pointed out that the existing grievance in the Malen chiefdom have been the overdue technical reports yet to be released by the Government. Efforts have been made by many organizations in visiting the chiefdom in the name of peace but we should embrace Fambul Tok for their unique ways of building peace. He urged all stakeholders and chiefdom structures to put hands on deck to map out the strategies to continue as GRC members to see the entire Malen peaceful after Fambul Tok left.
Mr. John caulker the Executive Director of Fambul Tok demonstrated the broken cup illustrating the benefits of united communities and the disadvantages of divided communities. Furtherance, he pointed out that the project is supported by UNDP and faced financial constrains. He expressed concern over the ownership and the sustainability of the groups after the project ends. He pleaded with local authorities and Socfin to help maintain the groups after the project. In conclusion committee members in attendance called for an inclusive chiefdom level stakeholders dialogue as strategy and road map for inclusion and restructuring committees for a wider sensitization platform in the chiefdom. The chiefdom dialogue is scheduled for the 23rd July 2021 in Pujehun town.