The Mayor of Freetown Georg Herbert Williams have vowed to use any mean necessary at his disposal to ensure the city is clean, yesterday the Freetown City Council embarked on massive cleaning exercise around the City to ensure that the environment is clean and conducive for the people.
Our reporter witnessed the cleaning exercise and caught up with the mayor for an interview. The Mayor disclosed that the Freetown City Council decided to embark on the cleaning exercise as a way of keeping the environment clean for the people.
He also said that they decided to choose Lumley as a starting point and that the exercise will continue as far as to the east end of Freetown, noting that the operation is not targeting traders it is a move to cleaning and clearing the street catching dogs.
The Mayor also said that the team of cleaners will move along Wilkinson Road, Congo Cross to the center of Freetown the business district. “I want to emphatically state that those who heed to the call will not be affected but those who fail will perish” he threatened.
He also said that defaulters will be severely dealt with according to the gravity of their crimes, adding that Council will also confiscate goods found on the streets of Freetown and fines will be levied. He said it is not a punitive but a corrective measure so as to put a stop to lawlessness in Freetown.
On the question of sustenance, the mayor assured that the entire exercise will be sustained as proper mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that City Council staffs are on the streets regularly to ensure that the people adhere to city ordinances.
Our reporter observed during the cleaning exercise that some people had earlier heeded to the notice and cleared piles of rubbish on the pavement normally used by traders to display their wares around the Lumley area to the Orugu Bridge. Sidewalk kiosk and street sellers were forced to push back, however it was also observed that there is no space for pedestrians to walk along the street.
A petty trader Marie Kamara who spoke to this Press expressed shock, dismay and frustration over the exercise. She claimed that her booth was not along the street, but that it was located at the entrance of a compound which was not spared and argued that both City Council and SLRA instructed her to construct a descent booth which she did.
I am surprised at the City Council because the area has been kept clean for quite some time now. She also revealed that the Lumley market is inadequate for the traders and that the market is only meant for the sale of basic foodstuff and that there is no space to sell other goods.
The Lumley market is also small as vegetables and fresh fish are scattered all over the place. Most of the traders interviewed disclosed that there is a need to expand on the Lumley market or relocate it wherein facilities like warehouse, toilet and water will be available because they have been paying taxes to the council.