By  MLGRD Media Unit.

Minister Local Govt. (Right) making a point to Dep. Chairman, WARD C, Robert Brown

Hon. Tamba Lamina (centre) at the Waterloo Dumpsite

 The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Tamba John Sylvanus Lamina has expressed concern over what he described as “the low level of turn out and abysmal  performance” of authorities in Western Area District Council and some residents in the district during the just-ended 5th October, 2019 cleaning exercise in Freetown. Giving his impression about the exercise, following an inspection tour of communities in the Western Area and Urban Districts, the minister whose visit started from Hamilton, Jui, and Waterloo and ended at Tombo, a popular Fishing community said, he observed that there were huge piles of rubbish along the streets and there were not too many vehicles to collect them. What was really challenging he said, was the deplorable condition of the Waterloo Dump Site, located on soft and muddy area with no access roads, thereby, making it difficult for trucks to offload.

Commenting on the Western Area Urban District, he said there was not much rubbish on the street because of the proactive measures put in place by the Mayor and staff of the Freetown City Council to sensitize communities about need to manage their wastes well through the media. He said “people have to take responsibility for the rubbish that is produced within their households and refrain from using the National Cleaning Day for clearing of their personal rubbish”.

He described the entire exercise as better, compared to the last one, while commending the Freetown City Council for a job well done. He expressed optimism that the model adopted by his ministry in collaboration with other partners including the F.C.C, R.S.L.A.F, SLP, and National Youth Council to ensure a successful exercise is the best. He disclosed plans to recommend it to other councils, especially when community people are raising issues such as sabotage. He underscored the fact that resources are limited and pledged government’s continued support. “The Mixed Bag will ensure that the whole presidential exercise is managed effectively and efficiently” he assured.

Addressing residents at 55, a market place in Waterloo, used as Garbage Disposal Transit Point, and Tombo community, the minister said, his ministry has an ‘’overarching” responsibility to supervise local councils and admonished staff of WARD C and authorities in area to put corrective measures in place to ensure that their environment is clean. He promised to engage other stakeholders with a view to addressing some of his findings.

The Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Akie Sawyerr, said her institution will do its utmost to ensure the city is clean in spite of the challenges and thanked government for the support. The Deputy Chairman of WARD C, Robert Brown who took the minister and team on an inspection tour of the proposed National Dump Site at No 2 River community, said the visit will give the minister an opportunity to have first-hand information about the exercise and pledged their continued cooperation.

Other key stakeholders in the communities, including members of parliament, Councilors, Ward Coordinators, Security Personnel and youths also expressed concerns and proffered recommendations for a successful implementation of the exercise.