The Peace Diamond, the second-largest diamond ever mined in Sierra Leone, sold on December 4, 2017 for $6.5 million. The sale comes as a relief to the government. as the proceeds from the sale of the diamond will go towards development projects and infrastructure in the country.
The village where the diamond was found, Koryardu, has no running water, electricity, roads or schools. Given that the country is still recovering from the recent Ebola virus outbreak, these are much-needed funds. These are five development projects in Sierra Leone that the sale of the diamond could potentially help.
- Strengthening Access to Health Care and Community-Led Development
Girls often have to spend many hours obtaining clean water for their families. This hampers their ability to receive an education. The Strengthening Access to Health Care and Community-Led Development project provides support on a local level so that communities can access services like clean drinking water.
- Productivity and Transparency Support Credit
The goal of this project is to promote transparency in government decisions in order to increase productivity in agriculture and efficiency in education.
- Revitalizing Education Development in Sierra Leone Project (REDiSL)
The Ebola virus was devastating to the country. Development projects in Sierra Leone that were aimed at education had to be delayed to support the recovery from Ebola. REDiSL will allow for a scaling up of the current education system and improve learning environments.
- Western Area Power Generation Project
The purpose of this project is to increase the power generated by independent power producers and to mobilize private capital. Its key component consists of a recovery plan to help support economic growth post-Ebola and create jobs by providing reliable electricity services to the Freetown Capital Western Area.
- Health Service Delivery & System Support Project
After the Ebola outbreak, many regions need to rebuild, but also be prepared for future emergencies. The purpose of this project is to improve the quality of essential maternal and child health services in their current state but also provide an immediate and effective response to constituents in case of an emergency.
With the country still reeling from the Ebola outbreak, it is necessary, now more than ever, to rebuild and develop the nation. The sale of the diamond provides a ray of hope that, given the opportunity, will help with these development projects in Sierra Leone.
– Dezanii Lewis