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Sierra Leone News: Schools in Freetown standing up to city’s waste challenge

A climate change and environmental management pilot project funded by the UK based charity – the Sierra Leone Poverty Alleviation Charity Trust (SALPACT), was launched a few weeks ago in Freetown, to help a group of ten schools in the rural communities implement waste management systems. With SALPACT’s funding, the Sierra Leone School Green Club (SLSGC) in partnership with the Society 4 Climate Change Communication (S4CCC) have distributed 20 waste collection containers, including farming compost bins to those ten schools. Using these large waste collection bins, pupils will learn about the importance of waste collection and sorting, and the impact of poor waste management on their communities and the environment. The waste collection bins distribution ceremony took place last Friday 22nd February 2019, at the Freetown Teachers College Campus in Jui, Freetown. SALPACT’s funding is also supporting those ten pilot schools to create school farms, where pupils can learn to grow commercial crops and trees, and become Sierra Leone’s farmers of the future. Speaking about the project, Alfred Fornah, the founder of Society 4 Climate Change Communication, said the distribution of the waste collection bins is a key component of the SALPACT partnership Climate Change Mitigation and Capacity Building Project, aimed at improving environmental management in  schools and communities in the western rural area of Sierra Leone. “The waste collection bins will help the 10 targeted schools put in place a fully operational waste management system within their compounds and also promote environmentally friendly lifestyles, so that pupils can protect their environment and mitigate the impact of climate change,” Fornah said. Daniel Conteh, Program Manager of SLSGC stressed the need for proper waste management and environmental sanitation in schools. He noted that the project will help pupils to take a leading role in environmental management practice. “With skills gained in this program you can serve as influencers and environmental Ambassadors to spread the word of environmental protection in your various communities,” Conteh told the pupils. The Founder of SLSGC, Alhassan Sesay, said waste should be sorted and separated accordingly. He explained that the collected waste paper and leaves can be used as compost after decomposing. This compost will then be added to the farming soil to enrich its quality once the agricultural component of the project starts; and the waste plastics he said, will be collected from the schools for recycling. Speaking on behalf of the participating schools, Mohamed Fofanah – a pupil at the Kellys Rural Agricultural Secondary School, thanked SLSGC, S4CCC and SALPACT for what he described as a laudable gesture and promised to use the bins for their intended purpose.

AT/26/2/19

Wednesday February 27, 2019.

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