From the Editor’s Keyboard

Operation Clean Freetown

25 April 2017 at 12:31 | 1847 views

Ebola don go, dorti sef fo go

Rubbish and waste in Freetown’s streets, waterways and gutters is polluting the city’s streets and contaminating its water, leading to an increase in diseases such as malaria, typhoid and diarrhoea.

Freetown City Council and WARDC are working with the President’s Delivery Team, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Freetown WASH consortium on Operation Clean Freetown.

This will be an intensive clean of Freetown and its surrounding area, an awareness raising campaign, and a new rubbish and waste collection plan.

1. Phase one will improve the waste management infrastructure, including flattening and compacting the dumpsites at Kingtom and Granville to make more space, and the temporary increase of transit/waste collection points in Western Area Urban and Western Area Rural to 77 (at least one in each of the participating wards). During this period youth groups will be equipped and trained as door-to-door waste collection micro-enterprises.

2. In Phase two it will be compulsory for all households to subscribe for regular paid waste collection from the youth groups operating in their wards, at a charge of Le2,000 per rice bag, or from an alternative waste management provider. The youth groups will transport collected waste to the transit points within their wards and the transit points will be emptied by the transit point service company (MASADA for Western Area Urban and Community Clean Association for Western Area Rural). All households will also be required to participate in an intensive cleaning process, which will target an average of two wards every two days over a 30-day period.

3. The final phase of Operation Clean Freetown will be the sustainability phase. It will include enforcement of by-laws. The youth group waste collection micro-enterprises will continue to receive business development support to ensure that they are economically sustainable. Discussions will be held with the manufacturers and
distributors of plastic bags, sachets and bottles, to hear their solutions to the problem of plastic waste. An annual competition to reward the cleanest ward in Freetown will help instill civic pride in individual citizens and support progress.

Meanwhile according to Bockarie Kukuku Musa of the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs communications unit, Minister Nanette Thomas (photo) has been engaging petty traders and shop owners along Goderich Street, Sani Abacha Street, Eastern Police and Kissy Road to take ownership in the cleaning of their surroundings.

She highlighted the risk associated with living in an environment that is contaminated by toxic materials.

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness" she explained and advised them to make cleaning a daily practice.

She admonished them to be watch dogs for anyone who wants to deposit unwanted materials in front of their shops or along the streets of Freetown.