Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 February 2019:
A climate change and environmental management pilot project funded by the UK based charity – the Sierra Leone Poverty Alleviation Charity Trust (SALPACT), was launched a few weeks ago in Freetown, to help a group of ten schools in the rural communities implement waste management systems within their schools. With SALPACT’s funding, the Sierra Leone School Green Club (SLSGC) in partnership with the Society 4 Climate Change Communication (S4CCC) have distributed 20 waste collection containers, including farming compost making bins to those ten schools.
Using these large waste collection bins, pupils will learn about the importance of waste collection and sorting, and the impact of poor waste management on their communities and the environment.
The waste collection bins distribution ceremony took place last Friday 22nd February 2019, at the Freetown Teachers College Campus in Jui, Freetown.
SALPACT’s funding is also supporting those ten pilot schools to create school farms, where pupils can learn to grow commercial crops and trees, and become Sierra Leone’s farmers of the future.
Speaking about the project, Mr Alfred Fornah, the Founder of Society 4 Climate Change Communication, said the distribution of the waste collection bins is a key component of the SALPACT partnership Climate Change Mitigation and Capacity Building Project, aimed at improving environmental management in schools and communities in the western rural area of Sierra Leone.
“The waste collection bins will help the 10 targeted schools put in place a fully operational waste management system within their compounds and also promote environmentally friendly lifestyles, so that pupils can protect their environment and mitigate the impact of climate change “, Alfred Fornah told local media in Sierra Leone.
Daniel Conteh, Program Manager of SLSGC stressed the need for proper waste management and environmental sanitation in Schools. He noted that the project will help pupils to take a leading role in environmental management practice.
“With skills gained in this program you can serve as influencers and environmental Ambassadors to spread the word of environmental protection in your various communities”, Mr Conteh told the pupils.
The Founder of SLSGC, Alhassan Sesay whilst explaining to the pupils about how to use the bins, emphasized that waste should be sorted and separated accordingly. He explained that the collected waste paper and leaves can be used as compost after when decomposing. This compost will then be added to the farming soil to enrich its quality once the agricultural component of the project starts; and the waste plastics he said, will be collected from the schools for recycling.
Speaking on behalf of the participating schools, Mohamed Fofanah – a pupil at the Kellys Rural Agricultural Secondary School, thanked SLSGC, S4CCC and SALPACT for what he described as a laudable gesture and promised to use the bins for their intended purpose.
Speaking from the UK about the distribution of the waste collection bins, the chairman of the Sierra Leone Poverty Alleviation Charity Trust (SALPCT) – Mr Abdul Rashid Thomas, said that Trustees of SALPACT are more than happy to be providing funding for such an innovative environmental management project, which will help pupils tackle the growing problem of waste management in Sierra Leone.
“Above all, Trustees of SALPACT are looking forward to each school starting their own school farm where they can grow commercial trees and crops. These are the farmers of the future,” Mr Thomas said.
When president Julius Maada Bio took over from the kleptomaniac brigade last year and reintroduced the monthly cleaning program, APC apologists attacked him for trampling on the democratic and civil rights of citizens.
Today, we are seeing the fruits of president Bio’s vision. The cleaning program now resonates in all corners of Sierra Leonean society thereby giving rise to a healthy and productive country.
Efficient waste management and agricultural development contribute to economic growth. And with the sustained fight to root out corruption and implement institutional reforms in Sierra Leone, the gains of growth would trickle down to the citizens.
The new crop of African leaders – John Magafuli of Tanzania, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Macky Sall of Senegal, Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, Adama Barrow of Gambia, etc., are turning heads with their determination to transform Africa in ways that could allow the continent to realize its full potential.
Well done to SALPACT. A UK diaspora organisation making an incredible impact in our society. This is the beginning, there is more to come. With God’s help, we will.