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Sierra Leone News: It’s our responsibility to ensure your waste is collected- FCC Mayor

Saturday cleaning is not an alternative to paying for waste management said Mayor Yvonne Akie Sawyer while receiving WASH donated items from Action Against Hunger on Thursday 30 August 2019. According to the Freetown City Council Mayor, they have a system where people have to pay for regular waste collection, as Saturday cleaning is not an alternative for paying for waste management.
“The monthly Saturday cleaning exercise is for us to clean our communities,” she maintained, explaining that it is for the people to do the cleaning exercise holistically to ensure a conducive environment. According to her, keeping dirt at backyards for almost a month waiting for the general cleaning means more mosquitos, rats, cockroaches, malaria and more death.
Speaking on the issue of sanitation, Mayor Sawyer disclosed, “it is our responsibility to ensure that your waste is collected”, adding that even when tomorrow is a national cleaning day people should bear in mind that they should be paying for regular waste collection.
Mayor Sawyer called on the donor partners to ensure that the youth groups that they will be working with on a door-to-door collection of waste should be properly trained and support them with business management skills, waste management training and also ensure they are properly mentored as giving them a motorcycle is just part of the process.
She disclosed that these components will help keep the business going as they youth will be in better position to take care of the tricycles and other equipment, citing the operation clean Freetown youth that is still in operation as a result of these component.
“The project is a combination of youth development, job creation and of sanitation,” she maintained. According to the Program Manager of Action Against Hunger John O Swaray, they have been supporting FCC on a study on managing public toilets to meet international best practice, as the management of public toilets in Freetown has been serious challenge.
According to him some of these youth groups that are not part of the trained and recognized one by FCC are moving around communities collecting small amount of money less than what the approved group is collecting.
He disclosed the Freetown WASH Consortium did a comparative assessment of those groups that were collecting less and were able to get three groups that meet the standards of the recognized one and handed them to FCC for the door-to-door waste collection.
According to him the three youth groups are in Congo Water-one, Bottom Oku and Old Wharf community within the Wellington community, disclosing that they are doing it to complement government effort in addressing the problem of urban sanitation.
He disclosed that they were able to secure funds from DFID to purchase the following items; 2 motorbikes (XTZ Honda), 1 work station, 1 Dell desk top computer, 1 Dell computer (Lap top), 1Office printer, 1 electric fan, 2 stabilizer (1,000 watts) among other office materials to be used by Faecal Sludge Management Unit.
He furthered that the 3 tricycles, rain-boots, protective gloves and other WASH items are to be used by the youth groups in conducting the door-to-door waste collection.
The head of Environment issues at FCC, Zainu Parker, assured the donor that they would be monitoring the various youth groups that will be using the items to ensure they are use for their appropriate purpose.
AMK/30/8/18
By Alhaji Manika Kamara
Friday August 31, 2018.

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