Mayor of Freetown discusses progress with Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone

Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 December 2021:

On Tuesday, 15 December 2021, I had fruitful discussions with the Irish Ambassador – Claire Buckley, about the various TransformFreetown projects that have been implemented as a result of our continued partnership.

She was excited to see tangible results of work done in the Jamaica community along Syke Street after a mini landslide in the community in 2018 left cracks and exposed boulders.

With funding from Irish Aid, trees were planted to stabilize the slope and to reduce susceptibility to subsequent landslides. Three years on, we have a little “forest” thriving in the community, which not only reduces the risk of landslides but also reduces heat stress for residents.

This is what transformation looks like and I look forward to achieving more together to make #Freetown safe for all #Freetonians.

In another development, the Freetown City Council was proud to announce yesterday that it is handing over 40 tricycles to youth groups, to build on the gains made through the Waste Management Micro Enterprise Program.

In January this year, Freetown was chosen as 1 of 5 cities from low-middle income countries that have been granted the Global Cities Fund by the Mayors Migration Council.

The Global Cities Fund for Inclusive Pandemic Response is an initiative to respond to the unmet needs of cities as they support migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people during Covid-19 pandemic.

In Freetown, the grant will provide direct financial and technical support over one year to help youth from informal communities set up 40 new waste collection businesses to provide this indispensable service to new households.

50% of the cost of the tricycle will be paid by the youth group as part of the loan repayment scheme and an osusu scheme will be created for the maintenance of the trycycles. The Program will also facilitate and mentor youth groups on business development.

This ambitious program directly contributes to our target to have at least 60% of solid waste collected and safely disposed of by 2022. More importantly, it helps us create jobs at a time when COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for many young people that have migrated to Freetown from rural areas.

We will continue to work tirelessly to make Freetown a cleaner city, and to transform the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents!

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