National Quarry Policy Formulation consultative meeting was held between AFRIRELIEF Inc. who were awarded the contract for Policy Formulation on Quarry and Ancillary Operations in Sierra Leone, and a cross-section of Management of the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure which included the Permanent Secretary and Heads of Divisions to discuss the commencement of the work.
The Permanent Secretary Mr. Donald Ngegba who chaired the meeting welcomed all present and said the formulation of the National Quarry Policy is of vital importance to the Ministry as it is part of the 2014 Strategic Plan. He said that Government is taking tremendous strides in ensuring that the regulatory framework is in place for all businesses conducted within the country. The National Quarry Policy will serve as a regulatory framework to govern the operations of Quarry business in Sierra Leone nationwide. He therefore encouraged the consultants to start the work immediately as we are behind schedule.
Responding, the Leading Partner of AFRIRELIEF Inc. Mr. Franklin Bassir, said they are delighted to be partnering with the Ministry to attain its strategic objectives. He said AFRIRELIEF had being doing some background work after the contract was signed although the initial payment is yet to be received. He said they will commence work effectively to produce the inception report. He submitted a list of key stakeholders comprising of Government MDAs and NGOs that will be consulted to make contributions towards the policy and the body will serve as the Technical Working Group. He said the list was not exhaustive and the Ministry can add to it. He requested the Ministry to invite these stakeholders to an inception meeting to start the collaboration process.
The Permanent Secretary thanked the consultants for the initial progress made so far and encouraged them that the Ministry will ensure that the initial payment as stipulated in the contract will be expedited. He said the Technical Working Group meeting will be slated for the 8th of April 2015.
The consultants promised to work according to the time frame of having the Inception Report of the National Quarry Policy against 30th April 2015. The final draft report will be available within three months as stipulated in the contract.
The Chief Mechanical Engineer Mr. Victor Silma implored the consultant to work within the stipulated timeframe and encouraged him to communicate with the Ministry regarding any challenges encountered.
The formation of a National Quarry Policy is one of the outputs of the Ministry’s PTT for 2014.
The Objectives of the National Quarry Policy Formulation are:
- To provide a policy for the use of public lands containing or potentially containing quarry materials required for commercial and industrial purposes.
- To ensure that quarries operate in an environmentally acceptable manner.
- To enhance the viability of quarry operations by protecting and ensuring a continuous supply of land for quarry materials extraction by private and public sectors.
- To ensure an equitable allocation of quarry lands among private operators and public agencies.
- To ensure efficient use of land containing quarry resources.
- To ensure that we have affordable and reliable supplies of stones in the entire country.
- To institute reforms and establish an institutional framework to facilitate effective mining and selling mechanism.
- To increase efficiency and conservation in quarry and ancillary operations.
- To ensure that local communities are consulted and they benefit from quarry operations in their localities.