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Sierra Leone News: 30 garbage trucks arrive from China

Garbage trucks ready for distributions

Thirty, bright green garbage collection trucks valued at $1.5 million USD were unveiled at State House on Friday 15th February 2019 by President Bio. The trucks arrived with spare parts, training packages and waste bins. The trucks are part of a $3 million USD grant from the government of China. Speaking on behalf of all Sierra Leoneans President Bio thanked “the government and people of China for their continued valuable strategic partnership support to the country.” He pointed out, “The uncontrolled dumping of garbage in our living space with no planned manner of collection and disposal lead to outbreaks of diseases, elevated risks of flooding, property lost, unregulated burning of public waste also posed health hazards.” The 30 trucks will help the Government plan for and implement sustainable waste collection for urban areas and reduce health and environment impact of indiscriminate dumping of waste.  The President said the Ministry of Local government and Councils will be responsible for the selection of drivers, development of wider garbage collection, management and strategic policy that will target purposeful planning that would lead to improving lives of people. The Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr thanked the government for supporting the cleaning days and sanitation drives. She said the Freetown City Council (FCC) has come face-to-face with challenges of waste collection with lots of calls complaining of abandoned waste by residents across municipals. She called on her colleagues to build on structures across the country and put systems in place to keep cities clean. She said the cleanness zone competition is part of her strategy to keeping Freetown City clean by ensuring Freetownians own the exercise. The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone said the tucks are not merely to support the collection of garbage on national cleaning day but also to create better lives and living environments for all citizens. He confirmed that they would embark on training programs for drivers that will be in-charge of the trucks in the near future. The Ambassador recalled that at the China-African Summit lots of positive commitments aiming at supporting African government was made by the Chinese President as way of developing better cooperation and strategic partnerships with the continent.

Concerns were raised from the 22 Local Councils regarding distribution of the 30 garbage collection trucks. No plan for distribution of trucks was announced.  A Council Chair said the Ministry of Local Government should engage Councils first to ensure at least every council benefits from the trucks.

MK/16/2/19

By Mohamed Kabba

Twitter: @chikakabba

Friday February 15, 2019.

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