The residents at the Kissy Bomeh dumpsite and Kolleh Town near King Tom Bomeh said the Freetown City Council (FCC) has started breaking down their houses. They said the Council put up a notice a month ago to vacate those areas. In Kolleh Town, 50 houses were identified for demolition due to the expansion of the gutter that empties dirty water collected from Gray Bush, Culvert and Ascension Town communities into the Atlantic Ocean. At the Kissy Bomeh site, close to 50 houses will also be affected. The FCC demolition notices could be seen plastered on the sides of the makeshift structures in the garbage site. “This structure must be demolished immediately; all occupants should vacate” states the Immediate Demolition Notice signed by the Environment Officer of the Council. The Chair lady at the dumpsite in Kissy, Kadiatu Tarawallie, said that last Monday 4th November 2019, representatives from the FCC came to them and said that they should leave the area. “Some of us have been here for over 15 years. This is where we collect things from the dumpsite and sell to take care of our families,” she said. There are over 100 families residing at the Bomeh in Kissy surviving from the things they scavenge from the dumpsite. She called on the Mayor to be considerate with them and give them some time. “We had lots of pigs in this place. All of them have died. We do not know what killed them all. Right now, if we are forcefully removed, we have been disgraced,” said Mariatu Conteh an old lady who said she picks plastic bags and bottles at the dumpsite to sell. She went on to say they don’t want to reside in such unhealthy environments but poverty has forced them to do so. “Most of the older women here are widows and we have nobody to take care of us, moving to find new residences is practically impossible for most of us.
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The Environment Officer at the FCC, Suleiman Z. Parker, said, “We have given the squatters at the dumpsite sufficient time to vacate those slum settlements. The message for them right now is to move away from those areas,” Parker said. A Metropolitan policeman stationed at Kissy dumpsite, Sergeant Bangura, said he was the one that pasted the demolition notices on the doorposts of the makeshift structures. He said on Friday 15th November 2019, a team of Metropolitan police from the Eastern Division at Black Hall Road visited the sites. Maligie Bomeh said that the Metropolitan police that came to the site on Friday started demolishing buildings that were built on the access road near the dumpsite. “These people have stayed here for a very long time and they deserve to be given time to relocate,” he said. The dumpsite was opened in 1989 and since then, many scavengers have been making their living from collecting and selling things from the dumpsite. Immediate eviction of these slum dwellers will cause hardship, some residents said, on the already impoverished and disadvantaged people.
FCC notice posted on doorposts of homes to be demolished
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