Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 February 2021:
Last Monday, the Mayor of Freetown – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, hosted a sanitation symposium which was attended by over 50 participants in person and via zoom, representing central government, international development partners, donors, private sector organisations, FCC sanitation department and the FCC sanitation committee.
The symposium was organized by the Freetown City Council (FCC) to provide a platform for FCC and its partners that have been supporting FCC’s sanitation efforts to discuss progress achieved so far, and the challenges it faces in achieving the Transform Freetown target: to ensure that 60% of Freetown’s solid and liquid waste is safely collected, managed and disposed of by 2022.
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr thanked partners for believing in the vision to transform the state of sanitation in Freetown and for investing in FCC’s integrated waste management value chain, which seeks to change behaviour, increase collection, improve disposal options and introduce recycling solutions.
Presentations were delivered by several partners, including the EU, World Bank, IOM and Concern, on successes of FCC interventions. These include:
1. Sustainable waste management through micro-enterprises, through which 800 young people have started waste collection businesses that now service over 32,000 households
2. Improved sanitation engagement and enforcement with 210 defaulters arrested in 2020
3. The daily sweeping of 68 major streets and 42 markets
4. The launch of the 8244 sanitation complaints hotline
5. Improvement in waste infrastructure, including the construction of waste sorting areas, incinerators and access roads increase waste collection in hard-to-reach areas.
The symposium concluded with participants making recommendations and proposing new innovations which will enhance LCC’s existing sanitation plans to continuously improve cleanliness and environmental safety of Freetown.
In another development, it was announced early this week that Freetown is to co-host CityLab 2021 with San Francisco, Bogota and Helsinki. Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute CityLab Global Cities Summit will be held virtually from March 1-3, 2021.
“CityLab 2021 will be co-hosted by four cities from four continents and we are pleased to announce that Freetown will co-host for Africa! The other host cities and their mayors are: Mayor London Breed of San Francisco, U.S.A; Mayor Claudia Lopez Hernandez of Bogota, Colombia; and Mayor Jan Vapaavuori of Helsinki, Finland. These city leaders each have a compelling story to tell about the way they met the moment in 2020 and continue to drive innovative solutions into the next year.
“We are thrilled to have this platform to share Freetown with a global audience and excited about the opportunities for collaboration and partnerships that will come from this experience,” says the Bloomberg statement.