Freetown City Council and CRS support household waste collection in Kolleh Town and Cocklebay

FCC Media Unit: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 May 2024:

Waste found on our streets, gutters and waterways in Freetown is the result of illegal dumping by residents and businesses.

For those residents living in hard-to-reach and informal settlements, the lack of access for waste service providers is often combined with a lack of willingness to pay for waste disposal, resulting in significant localized illegal dumping that contaminates  waterways and creates a health hazard, providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other disease vectors.

Tackling the sanitation challenges of Freetown requires addressing the challenge of waste collection in hard-to-reach and informal communities.

Last week,  Freetown City Council in collaboration with CRS, provided two tricycles each (total of four tricycles), cleaning tools and rain gear to youth groups established in the Kolleh Town and Cocklebay informal communities.

The 40 female and male youth will provide household waste collection services to their communities and earn a living while acquiring micro business skills in the process.

As part of the council’s community engagement at Kolleh Town, local chiefs and other stakeholders made a commitment to ensure that community residents cooperate with the waste collection groups; that a self-funded community clean-up is undertaken to improve local hygiene conditions; and that the youth groups only use the tricycles for their intended purpose.

This sanitation intervention is possible for Kolleh Town and Cocklebay communities as they have vehicle access. Other solutions are being designed for hard-to-reach communities such as Mount Aureol that have no vehicle access.

The importance of land use planning and a building permit regime which takes into consideration the delivery of sanitation and other municipal services cannot be overstated when addressing sanitation in our city.

Freetown City Council is therefore looking forward to collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and the eventual devolution of these functions to local councils across Sierra Leone.

In another development, Freetown City Council has today started extensive citywide community engagement as part of the 2024-2028 FCC Development Plan process.

The Council is targeting 4,800 residents in groups of 100 across 48 communities. Beginning today in 10 locations including Allen Town, Fullah Town, Wellington, Mayinkineh and Cline Town, the process will continue through to Saturday 18th May.

Each three-hour engagement session is being used to hear directly from residents, what their community development priorities are. The community engagement is also being used to share with Freetonians the framework for the Transform Freetown – Transforming Lives vision.

“We are excited to listen to the voices of youth leaders, women, the elderly, religious and political leaders and other stakeholders in our communities. We will feed their input into our technical sector working groups which will be the next phase of the FCC 2024-2028 Development Plan process.

“My huge thanks go to the Deputy Mayor, FCC Councillors, the Chief Administrator, FCC Staff and our technical support team who have worked tirelessly to enable the community engagement to be rolled out today,” says Freetown Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr.

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