Mayor Aki-Sawyerr at the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar

Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 March 2022:

I am in Dakar at the 9th World Water Forum with Councillor N’Bompah Turay and Councillor Alhassan Bangura. Today I spoke at the OECD High Level Panel alongside Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for Water Affairs of the Netherlands, Joel Kolker, Lead Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank and Karishma Asoodani, Youth Delegate, World Water Council.

My submission focused on the close relationship between the global Climate Crisis and the global Water Crisis. Solutions must be multi-sectoral, holistic, gender-sensitive and must ensure that climate adaptation financing is available at the local level.

With the support of the Blue Peace Initiative, Freetown City Council has been working on locating sites for and the design of 40 water kiosks and 15 public toilets for deprived communities in Freetown. Construction of these facilities will commence before the rainy season.

#FreetownTheTreeTown by planting one million trees is designed to protect important water catchments in and around Freetown.

Excessive deforestation is destroying these water sources and must be stopped. It takes years for trees to grow and minutes to cut them down. Protected forests in the Western Area must be protected, not sold for housing or soon there will be no water for any of us.

About the author

Mrs Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE, is the Mayor of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.


  1. Whenever and wherever Mayor Aki-Sawyer speaks or participate just look around her, and what you will see are infinite progress ideas. They are fueled by her understanding of the needs of her people ,rooted in her job description . The international community understands this, which is why they support her in every way possible, they feel her absence if she cannot make it to a conference or gathering designed for the exchange of ideas and experiences. Only a true leader like Mayor Aki-Sawyer,can constantly recognise the needs of their people and try to do something about it with whatever resources that are available. Here we have a Mayor talking about water kiosks and public toilets to uphold the dignity of her people and improve sanitation in her city. The environmentalist in her is unquestionable,demonstrated by her indefatigable effort to make Freetown to become Treetown.

    These are all the qualities of gem which make The Mayor so disdainful to Bio and his entourage ,while Freetonians love her to death . The Mayor does not hire a private jet to go on a joy ride or an endless honeymoon around the world. Wherever she is Freetown is with her, it’s in her blood and she is ready to bulldoze her way through all obstacles to project a positive image of her city. Does the central government headed by Bio know their job description? If they do, they have a strange way of showing it.

  2. This healthy water campaign held in Dakar should be also include proper drainage system affecting communities. With special reference to the capital City of Sierra Leone ( Freetown) is faced with serious flooding crisis during the rainy season as a result of poor drainage system and inadequate dumpsites. Good water and sanitation as goal six (6) of the Sustainable development goal (SDG’s) is a top global priority all nations should meet.

    According to research it is estimated that roughly 19% (or about 300,000) live in slum or informal settlement areas. The waste management capacity of the Freetown authorities is ineffective to meet the present and increasing needs, particularly for those in slum and hard to reach areas of the city. I suggest Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country planning coupled with Freetown city council should be able to amicably construct better drainage system, move people from Slum areas and provide enough official dumpsters and dumpsites. These better drainage systems will be inline with the Water Secure Future for African countries.

    Further more, Freetown city council should consistently focus on factors leading to poor water management and sanitation in the country especially the capital city. However Mayor Aki-Sawyerr after this 9th World Water Forum in Dakar should continue to plan and direct a proactive campaign against waste management, poor drainage system and inadequate dumpsites. This is believe to make a healthy water system and sanitation .

    From: Amadu wurie, Development communicator at the University of Makeni( UNIMAK).

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