Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 August 2022:
I was excited to launch the Freetown Market Shade Cover project in Calaba Town Market last Friday, 26th August 2022. With the theme “Protecting women and girls from extreme heat”, the project is also being delivered in Congo Market and Bombay Street Market.
The project funders, the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre and the Atlantic Council, are collaborating with FCC to address the growing challenge of extreme heat resulting from climate change.
The total coverage area of the market shade project in the three markets is 669 square meters with hundreds of women directly impacted. The market shade design makes use of modern UV reflective materials and galvanized metal pipe frames. Solar panels have been installed under the shade covers that will store energy during the day and provide light in the night.
This project aims to significantly reduce heat related illnesses and stress in the dry season but will also provide shade for traders from downpours in the rainy season.
I used the opportunity of the project launch to confirm to traders that FCC is committed to the construction of permanent markets; a three-story market is currently under construction in Wilberforce and a call for EOIs is currently being advertised for PPPs in respect of the construction of four other markets in the city, including Calaba Town Market.
However, in the immediate to short term, the market shade covers will provide much needed relief and protection for traders from the heat and the rain.
Present at the project launch were Chairladies and Chairmen of the beneficiary markets, the Deputy Mayor Osman Koroma, Cllr Sheku Deen Mansaray, Cllr Junisa Kamara, Cllr Mary Kamara, Cllr Abu Rahman Kamara, Cllr Abu Kamara, FCC Environment and Social Officer Mustapha Kemokai, Chief Heat Officer and MDU Sanitation Lead Eugenia Kargbo, FCC Municipal Trade Deputy John Lebbie, other FCC staff and Metropolitan Police.
Thanks to the project donors and implementing partner Innovation Sierra Leone for their support in making this simple but hugely impactful contribution to reducing the effects of extreme heat on vulnerable women in our city.