Salone News

Concern Mounts Over Freetown’s Garbage

20 August 2005 at 20:30 | 597 views

The problem of waste disposal in Freetown, the Sierra Leonean capital and the rest of the country is one of the apparently insurmountable problems faced by the Tejan Kabbah government.Now a new organization, the Sierra Leone Foundation, has decided to step into the ring. Vanguard editor Gibril Gbanabome Koroma, from his base in Vancouver, had a chat Saturday August 13 by telephone with SLF secretary Sebora Kamara in Reading, UK. Excerpts:
By Gibril Koroma

The Sierra Leone Foundation, which was launched Saturday August 13 in Reading, United Kingdom noted in a press release that because of the war that ended in 2002, there was a huge migration of people from the rural areas which bore the brunt of the war, to Freetown, leading to an apparently insurmountable waste disposal problem for the present government. Garbage is such a big problem in Freetown that mounds of filth are "growing as tall as buildings", the foundation observed with alarm.

In a brief interview today SLF secretary Sebora Kamara stated that the organization is open to Sierra Leoneans from all over the world including Sierra Leone itself. It came about when a group of Sierra Leoneans in the UK decided to come together to address urgent problems that are clearly overwhelming for the present government; problems like waste disposal not just in Freetown but all over the country. In an effort to involve itself in this national health emergency, the organization also plans to put up public toilets in places like Masiaka, Mile 91, Moyamba Junction and so on to ease the problem of public toilets for people travelling by road to the interior of the country.

The SLF,which has strong links with Oxfam, the British charity, plans to provide mobile health clinics,basic hygiene and nutrition education and solar electricity for all government hospitals in the twelve districts in the country. A Sierra Leonean expert at Leeds university is preparing a waste management proposal and the the project itself will start in January 2006, the SlF informed the Vanguard.

With regards to education, the SLF intends to run programs on adult and civic education and provide ICT centres, educational materials and bursaries.

Saturday’s launching program in Reading featured an impressive array of speakers which included the mayor of Reading,the MP for Reading East, Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the UK and others. A presentation on waste management by Dr. Abdul Sesay and one on health and sanitation by Dr. Mohamed Coker are other significant highlights of the launching program.A musical performance by Sierra Leonean maestro John Gbla was also part of the ceremony.The Sierra Leone Foundation was created May 2000.

The Patriotic Vanguard will bring you an update on the SLF launching program soon.

Photo: Health and Sanitation Minister Abator Thomas (left) signing a memorandum of understanding with her Iranian counterpart in Freetown recently.The Iranians have promised assistance with regards to Sierra Leone’s health and other sectors.

Photo credit: State House news.