Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 September 2021:
Yesterday Monday, 27th September, I visited the victims of the recent Kroo Bay fire which occurred on 20th September, destroying 137 households and displacing almost 500 people. Sadly this is the latest of over 20 significant disasters to have afflicted Freetown in 2021; the majority of which are linked to poor urban planning, overpopulation, antiquated electrical distribution systems, and climate and hydro-meteorological hazards.
Due to its scale, response to the fire disaster at Kroobay is led by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) as a Level 2 response. FCC’s Environmental Management committee, supported by the FCC Disaster Management Team, have been fully involved in supporting the coordination of the response, resulting in a major supply of food, non-food and WASH items to those most at need.
I witnessed first-hand both the gratitude of the recipients, but also the significant challenges faced by Freetown’s informal settlements every day.
I am pleased that with the support of a consortium of NGOs, FCC has made considerable progress in the development of a neighbourhood upgrading framework for the Cockle Bay and Kolleh Town informal settlements.
The successful implementation of these schemes within the next year will be a template that can be scaled up for bigger settlements like Kroo Bay.
Also yesterday, it was a great pleasure to visit FCC Metropolitan Police trainees at the Sierra Leone Peacekeeping and Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA) at Hastings.
Now in the 6th week of an 8 week programme, the 50 candidates are close to starting their new careers as Metropolitan Police officers at Freetown City Council. I was honoured to review the parade, conduct the inspection and address the candidates.
I am very grateful for the Sierra Leone Police’s support in facilitating the training and for the warm welcome I received from the Academy’s excellent staff.
As the first cohort of Metropolitan Police officers to be recruited and trained since 2010, this group will increase the Force’s capacity to monitor and enforce the City’s bylaws and to respond to residents’ concerns.
The reorganisation and expansion of the City’s Metropolitan police force is one of many measures to improve service delivery and quality of life for Freetonians, and reflects FCC’s continued commitment to Transform Freetown.