Bill and  Melinda Gate Are the New Kaka Bailers of Freetown.

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As way of tackling liquid waste disposal, the Freetown City Council and Goal Sierra Leone have today, Wednesday 30th November 2016, launched the Faecal Sludge Management Unit at the Freetown City Council Conference Hall.

Delivering the opening remark, Mr. Sulaiman Parker, said that they had initially developed a project proposal with Goal Sierra Leone which attracted the attention of Mr. Bill and Mrs. Melinda Gate. “Sometimes in the past, we initiated a project proposal which automatically attracted the attention of Mr. and Mrs. Gate, and initial fund was provided to do some assessment of the liquid waste within the Freetown Municipality—the assessment then promoted to the Faecal Sludge Project. This project is established to create some level of convenience for the people that have been having problems with liquid waste management, and it will also give the opportunity to involve the private sector in the said project,” he said. He added that a call center will be created to help serve the public. The call center will be responsible for handling issues relating to liquid waste management.

Giving a statement on behalf of Freetown City Council the Chief Administrator, Mr. Abu Bakarr Daramy, said: “A good number of homes have been embarrassed by the liquid waste leakages within that Freetown Municipality. The liquid waste pipes that connect to the Kingtom Sludge have not been repaired for quite a while and it has become full which leaves sanitary workers with no reasonable choice than to dispose them into the sea,” he said.

He furthered that the dumping of liquid waste into the sea even affect Sierra Leone in fish trading activity. “The reason why most of our fishes are being rejected in many countries is as a result of the kind of indecent activities we involve our sea into. Dumping liquid wastes such as urine and faeces expose the fishes to extreme danger. “ He also said that their aim is to make sure that all faecal waste coming from homes are properly managed. He assured Goal Sierra Leone that they will partner with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to ensure the project’s implementation, as there is a working relationship between the two institutions. He concluded by appreciating Goal for establishing the unit at the Freetown City Council which has the propensity of addressing the issues of liquid waste disposal within the municipality.

The representative of Goal Sierra Leone, Mr. Lotti Thingoma, said that the project is specifically looking at the collection, transportation and treatment of the main pipes linking the Kingtom Sludge where the wastes are emptied. He said, “Goal has been a very strong partner of the FCC as we have worked in many capacities in a bid to guarantee sustainable development. I hope that this project will be a reality. My organization wants to assure you all that it will continue its commitment by working effortlessly in making sure that the expected outcome of the project is fully achieved.

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Mr. Francis Lahai, said that the liquid waste disposal has always been a difficult issue. “When it comes to proper disposition of liquid waste materials, it has always been a difficulty with regards carrying out the work efficiently and effectively. And in that regard, MoHS is reviewing the Public Health Act which can act as a tool in the regulation of faecal sludge especially within the Freetown Municipality.” He said that it is the ministry’s responsibility to implement policies and give technical support to carry out the duties of waste management. “As a ministry, we have always given our support in areas that have to do with environmental sanitation, but that notwithstanding there are posing challenges in addressing liquid waste issues. Our responsibility lies in the implementation of policies and giving technical support for the success of the project,” he said. He maintained that commitment of FCC, Goal SL and the new Public Health Act, which will come into force in January 2017, would definitely address the issue of faecal sludge.

Launching the unit on behalf of the Mayor, the Chairman Health Committee of FCC, Councilor Sulaiman Turay, appreciated Goal for coming up with this timely idea. He ended by officially launching the commencement of the unit.

 By Cyril Donald Barnes and Chernor Osaio Kamara (FCC Interns)