• April 20, 2023

SLMA, UNDP Unveil USD 200K Search and Rescue Boat

SLMA, UNDP Unveil USD 200K Search and Rescue Boat
Share on

With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the country, the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) has, on Wednesday, 19 April 2023, officially commissioned a multi-purpose search and rescue vessel worth to the tune of over Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (USD200,000) for the enhancement of maritime law enforcements.

The historic unveiling of the multi-purpose boat which took place at a ceremony hosted at the SLMA headquarters, Government Wharf in Freetown, brought together scores of staffers and representatives of the line Ministry of Transport and Aviation, development partners including UNDP and the Maritime Wings of security sector.

The facility is sets to be enduringly station in the coastal village of Yargoi, Bonthe district in Southern Sierra Leone, to meet the needful desires and expectations of maritime requirements of the communities therein, as well as for the full implementations of search and rescue missions as and when necessary.

SLMA Executive Director, Mr Paul Sobba Massaquoi Speaking before the symbolic commissioning of the $200K search and rescue vessel, the SLMA Executive Director, Mr Paul Sobba Massaquoi who looked full activated in a campaign mood, loudly chanted the pro-ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party slogan saying; “know your leader, know your candidate.” He described the event as marked another significant turning point in the immeasurable achievements of President Julius Maada Bio’s ‘talk and do’ administration promises.

Mr Massaquoi drew the attention of his guests to the core mandates of the SLMA, recalled that; “the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration was established by an Act of Parliament in 2000, as an autonomous body with the mandates for the regulations of ships and other vessels, the licensing and safety of maritime personnel and for the regulation and development, generally of maritime coastal and inland water transports, as well as other related matters.”

Mr Massaquoi said the Administration shall have power in connection with its functions under the said Act, to impose, by statutory instrument, a charge on all vessels in respect of the manifested cargo discharged or loaded in Sierra Leone. This, the SLMA Executive Director explained is a circumstance wherein a charge is imposed on a person in charge of a vessel to pay maritime dues as by law before departure from the port in Sierra Leone. He said all vessels that sail on the waters of Sierra Leone are obliged to pay as required by law.

Mr Massaquoi disclosed that one of his points of call when he was appointed was to visit, engage, establish strong working ties with Non-Governmental Organizations, including United Nations agencies in-country, diplomatic and consular offices, and multilateral partners to see how best the SLMA can partner with them in harnessing its capacity for the implementations of the Administration’s policy goals. He said, one of the things that impressed me so much was that the UNDP and their willingness in supporting the efforts of Government through the MTA and the SLMA. We had several engagements and proposals that were brought forward to the UNDP and one of which was to refurbish three of our search and rescue boats, which was done and handed over to the SLMA in few months.

Executive Director Massaquoi said the UNDP also approved the refurbishment of the Sierra Leone Cape Light at Aberdeen and added that upon return from his ‘interregnum’, he was reliably informed that the UNDP continued with their good works and made donations of radio sets among other equipment to the Administration.

“I have also been in copy of all the communications correspondences regarding a donation for a lifesaving boat by the UNDP for which we are converged here this morning,” he said. Mr Massaquoi profusely thanked the UN development agency for their relentless support to the SLMA and Government.

Speaking on behalf of the UN Country Representative, the UNDP Senior Economist, Dr Ligane Serie said the search and rescue boat cost USD 200,000. The UN expert disclosed that the boat will be utilized for search and rescue missions to enhance the capacity of the maritime industry. Dr Ligane observed that Sierra Leone needs to explore its potentials in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals-UNSDGs. Dr Ligane informed that the UNDP seeks to improving policies and programmes aimed at compacting the country’s fishery and other growth sectors.

Representatives of the Maritime Wing of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and the Sierra Leone Police respectively made commendable statements, with the expressions of their profound gratitude to the SLMA and the UNDP. The event was climaxed with the cutting of the tape by both the SLMA Executive Director, Mr Paul Sobba Massaquoi and the UNDP Senior Economist, Dr Dr Ligane Serie marking the official and emblematic commissioning and handing over the $200,000 search and rescue boat to the management of Sierra Leone Maritime Administration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *