Moyamba District Council exists to improve upon the quality of life of the people in the district through a systematic planning process, formulation and coordination of sectoral policies and priorities that will stimulate socio-economic growth and sustainable development, good governance, gender parity, poverty alleviation and minimize the spread of HIV/AIDS.
From 1961 to 1972, Local Government Bodies in the country were to a large extent democratic, viable and effective and were able to provide some services to their communities, thus making Sierra Leone a respected and relatively progressive country in the sub-region.
In 1972, the Government of Sierra Leone suspended the District councils and replaced the elected Local Councils with appointed Management Committees. From 1972 to May 2004, over centralized administration had been the corner stone of governance in the country and all Local Government Bodies had appointed Management Committees who were not suitable alternatives to the Elected Representatives directly responsible and accountable to the people. There was a constant decline of power from the Local Government Authorities since the 1970s to May 2004 that led to over centralization and concentration of power and authority in Freetown.
The above situation was further compounded by bad governance, economic mismanagement, high rate of school dropouts, unemployment etc. These were some of the main causes for the eleven years of civil strife which engulfed the nation from 1991-2001. This had its adverse effect on Local Government entities countrywide. Local Government Infrastructures, furniture and equipment, towns and villages became prime targets of the fighters and were comprehensively and systematically vandalized or destroyed. Most of the population including members of the Management Committees, Paramount Chiefs, chiefdom functionaries and other Local Government employees were either internally displaced or made refugees in neighboring countries. This scenario led to a situation where Local Government bodies (Management Committees) were made non-functional and the national economy took a down ward trend.
After the Presidential and parliamentary elections of 1996 and 2002, the government embarked upon reforming the Local Government and Decentralization of powers and authority as a means of addressing these anomalies. This programme is designed to re-establish and strengthen Local Government Institutions machinery destroyed by the eleven years of civil war and thirty-two years of bad governance and economic mismanagement.
The Local Government Reform and Decentralization Programme are the key priorities within government’s overall strategy of post-war Recovery and Poverty Reduction designed to move the country from relief and emergency responses to medium and long-term sustainable development of our local communities. Timely reforms will radically change our local governance system through participatory and consultative approaches for a better service delivery to the communities and the nation as a whole.
The conclusion of the strife in 2001 saw the emergence of the National Recovery Strategy (NRS) and the District Recovery Committees (DRC) process. These bodies were responsible for the preparation of national Development Framework in each district, building upon the experience of the communities through participatory consultation. This has laid the foundations for promoting effective local planning.
This not withstanding, it is recognized here that planning, like strategy processes, needs to be based on high quality, well-analyzed data, aimed at an agreed vision of how the community would want their area/locality to be like in the short, medium and long term.
The guidelines are intended to formalize local government planning and encourage sustainable, integrated and strategic planning. There are many issues to be addressed at local level planning; these include physical, social, economic, cultural and environmental issues, which require a local government specific. In addition, there are others, which require common agreement among council and between councils and the national government.
Therefore, in acknowledging the diversity of the various Local councils in Sierra Leone, these guidelines had been formulated to ensure that every Local council could map out meaningful part for the development of its communities.