World Vision supports Mayor to clean Freetown with 95O tricycles, workers
SIERRA LEONE, Freetown: Precisely, a week ago the Mayor of Freetown was startled by a mountain pile of garbage that decorated Sierra Leone’s main referral Connaught hospital in Freetown. Furious from the eyesore the Mayor did a Facebook Live and pleaded for support.
World Vision Sierra Leone responded to the clarion call by providing support to pay 95O street cleaners and tricycle trash collectors.
For the next three days to Christmas these cleaners would embark on massive cleaning throughout the city from Lumley to Allentown.
Mayor Aki Sawyer said “I’m so pleased that World Vision has come alongside seeing the challenges that we are facing, following an appeal on Facebook Live that we want support. I really want to say a huge thank you to World Vision and the other donor which is Brewery and African Heineken foundation for being that supportive so that we go into Christmas with a clean city.”
She explained that council is faced with challenges and claimed that there is a saboteur within council creating bottlenecks for the payment of tricycle workers, and this has led to the buildup of waste on the streets.
“We’ve been sabotaged and the sweepers have not been paid since August. Few of them have been paid for September. Most have not received the September money and it’s now December. So they’re discouraged. They have to fuel their tricycle, eat and they’ve got families to feed as well.”
The Mayor said gone are the days when dustbins are placed around street corners, she added that people should learn to pay for their trash to be collected by the authorised collectors. She said that public disposal of trash is illicit. “People are aware that public disposal of garbage is illegal, that is why they do it in the dead of night”
However, Mayor Aki Sawyerr said, “we have started night operations last night. Again, resources are what makes these things challenging.”
The Mayor explained that there are 150 Metro Police, while the estimated population of the city is between 1.2 and 1.5 million, which means there is “one Metro police for a hundred thousand people.”
This is why we decided to co-opt the local chiefs, “but whatever the case, the best solution is for us to all obey the law,” she advised.
The Mayor said that cleaning a city is not a one day event, noting that it’s a process which requires systems. She said systems have been built but the systems were faulted however, she said resiliently, “we will once more have a city that would become the envy across West Africa to the point that other Mayors are coming to Freetown to come and study how we’ve done this.”
As we set things back in place, Mayor Aki Sawyerr advised “don’t throw your garbage on the streets. Don’t give your trash to a mentally ill person, or a child to dispose of it because you know they’re going to dump illegally.”
She said Freetonians must Call 8244 if they want their garbage to be collected “we’ll give you the address of the nearest tricycle group or waste collector with a truck.”
Also, they can use web portal ‘find me in freetown.com’ “it will take you to your ward automatically; it will provide all the addresses and names of all the waste collectors in your area.”
“Today, all teams, all the tricycle groups are all over the city from Orugu Bridge to Levuma we are doing a massive cleanup and they will be paid by World Vision. And in the coming, days or weeks, we are determined myself and the counsellors and the committed staff of council to overcome these problems because Freetonians don’t deserve to live in a dirty city,” the Mayor stressed.
She appealed to Freetonians to pay their property tax so that council would generate more revenue.
Country Health Adviser World Vision Sierra Leone International, Saffa Andrew Koroma said as an international organisation we are committed to support the government of Sierra Leone with regards to addressing the challenges that has to do with the lives of people.
“What we’re doing is to support the government of Sierra Leone to ensure that we have a clean city especially when we are moving towards the Christmas festive season, where we have more visitors coming in and we are having people walking around.”
As you can see, he said “trash disposal in the city is becoming more of a serious issue. If people have to have good health it is not only the food you eat or the clothes they wear, but the environment, in which you live, and work.
“For us sanitation and hygiene is very critical, as an organisation that is why we are supporting this process to be able to ensure that we have a clean city.”
He said in the next three days to Christmas there is going to be massive cleaning from Lumley to as far as Kalaba Town, Allen Town to have a clean environment as “all this will help protect the lives of the people of this city.”
As an organisation Saffa said, “the heart of the people of Sierra Leone is very paramount and that is why we are supporting the government of Sierra Leone to ascertain the good health of the people of this country.”
The Country Health Adviser said “we are supporting this process and we are going further to ensure that we provide the support that is needed by Council.”
Adding that besides pay for about 950 of these tricycle groups in the city, to be able to ensure that tools are provided to aid the process and “we will continue to provide this so that we have a clean city.”
“My call to all Freetonians” he appealed is not to trash the city. “I often see people in both private and public vehicles throwing trash on the streets. I pray to all and sundry to stop and ensure that we become security and guard for the cleaning of this city, because if this city is clean the health of our families, our brothers, our fathers, our mother, the children will grow in a healthy and clean environment.” OG/23/12/2021
By [email protected]