Samurdhi Officers in Walpita Gampaha District promised to carry out local development projects more transparent and accountable manner after they participated in an awareness building program on anti-corruption interventions on Thursday 22nd May, 2014. The awareness program was organized by “Shelter for Integrity” legal arm of Transparency International Sri Lanka.
As government servants, Samurdhi Officers play a major role in the grass root development to uplift the livelihoods to a better level. The “Samurdhi” program was launched to find a solution to alleviate poverty in rural areas. Gama Neguma is a new approach to strengthen community participation in the rural development similar to Samurdhi.
Shelter for Integrity observed that the Gama Neguma projects are not conducting properly in village level. This was further proven through evaluation done by TISL. The report emphasize high level of corruption is taking place in most of the local development projects. Fraudulent permits and contracts were given to the government henchmen or relatives of the local politicians by the administrators due to illicit political influences. Also the new constructions were not monitored by technical experts due to heavy corruption. Further majority of the Samurdi Officers did not have a proper understand on the regulation of Gama Neguma project.
Therefore, Shelter for Integrity build capacity of Samurdhi Officers in Walpita on regulations lies with the Gama naguma project and they were up in arms to take necessary steps and take the message to other Samurdhi officers.
Further, the officers were highly appreciated the discussion on corruption and its impact on the local governance. In addition, Samurdhi officers accepted that the Gama Neguma projects need to be done in a transparent and accountable manner.
The programme was facilitated by Sarath Gamini Dissanayake who is the manager of the Samurdhi Development Bank Walpita.