Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE: Sierra Leone Telegraph; 15 December 2021:
I am happy to have spent yesterday afternoon with HE Lisa Cheney, British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone and Madam Kobi Bentley – Director of Development, FCDO as we visited the sites of Freetown City Council (FCC) projects that were funded by UKAid.
We started out at the Faecel Sludge Treatment Plant, which is located next to the Kingtom dumpsite. We were joined by representatives from our implementing partner GOAL, Cllr Abdul Karim Turay, Chairman FCC Sanitation Committee, Mustapha Kemokai, FCC ESO and Ishmaila Bah, FCC CFO and together we were shown how the treatment plant operates. Grateful for the excellent work being done by our implementing partners GOAL.
The concept for this unique liquid waste solution emerged from the FCC Sanitation Technical Working Group that met in 2018 and contributes towards the achievement of our sanitation target!
The next stop was the Sanitation Transfer Station at Macauley Street, where we were joined by Councillor Rugiatu Kamara and Glynnis Cummings-John from our implementing partner, CRS. This structure is one of six Transfer Stations strategically located across the city (at Allen Town, Approved School, Shell New Road, Cline Town, Macauley Street and Lumley).
Transfer Stations are to serve as local deposit points for the waste collected by the tricycle groups. The Transfer Stations will help tricycles collect more waste by reducing the travel time, fuel costs and damage to the tricycles that results from them driving in the mud at the dumpsites.
Unfortunately, as has been previously and extensively reported, none of the Transfer Stations have been operational since the project handover in May 2021, due to internal FCC challenges with the procurement of skip trailers” that transfer the waste collected to the dumpsites at the end of each day.
The transformative potential of the Transfer Stations for sanitation in the city is huge so I look forward to these challenges being overcome soon!
The final stop was the banking hall at FCC where we could see the new property rate and business license system (MOPTAX) in operation. Later joined by FCC Budget and Finance Committee Chairman, Cllr Mohamed Darboh, Emile Manley of the Valuation Department expertly demonstrated the system to our guests, answering questions and pointing out improvements that have been made in the 2022 tax cycle!
With IGC and ICTD as implementing partners, the introduction of this comprehensive digital system has enabled FCC’s property database to increase from circa 30,000 properties to almost 120,000 properties! This means that all property owners, not just a few, are able to make their contribution to our city’s running costs!
Only 24% of property rates and 17% of business licenses have been collected by FCC this year, again due to previously explained and well documented internal challenges.
Without the payment of property rates and business licenses, FCC cannot provide the services we all want in our city! So play your part – #PayYourPropertyRates #PayYourBusinessLicenses