The government of Sierra Leone, through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, has handed over the waste collection, management and conversion in the capital city to Masada Waste Management Company(FWMC) Sierra Leone Limited.
The handing over ceremony was done on Tuesday at the compound of the former Freetown Waste Management Company along Blackhall Road in Freetown in the presence of officials from the Freetown City Council, Masada Waste Management Company, State House, the Strategic Policy Unit, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and officials of the now defunct FWMC.
The ceremony involved the signing of four agreements with the government of Sierra Leone,namely the Immediate and Strategic Waste Agreement, the Land Lease Agreement, the Waste Management Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Freetown City Council.
The Immediate and Strategic Waste Agreement between the government of Sierra Leone and Masada is going to last for 20 years with a 90 days transition period during which there will be an enhanced waste collection. This will also see the government of Sierra Leone enforcing the bye-laws against the throwing waste in and on the streets. During this ninety days period also, Masada is expected to absorb the Freetown Waste Management Company as well as validating the assets of the council with the aim of finding which ones to be handed over to Masada.
The Land Lease Agreement is also going for 20years where the government had agreed to provide the necessary land for Masada to build a well modernized conversion plant in other to be able to convert the waste that they will be collecting. The waste agreement will see Masada building the plant and starting to convert waste into bioenergy for its sustainability in the country.
During the absorption, it is expected that the name of Freetown Waste Management Company will be incorporated under Masada for a more proper system of waste management and administration for the benefit of the country.Masada will now be tasked with the responsibilities of collecting wastes deposited in transit points and cans in strategic areas in the city, as well as well as collaborating with the FCC to collect domestic waste for a very reasonable amount.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mrs. Diana KonomanyiKabbah, said she inherited the documentation of Masada and that the company "is now the agent for the cleaning of the city". She said Freetown is the filthiest community in the country more than those in the districts across the country, noting that people in the city must be the ones to involve wholeheartedly in cleaning the community.
The minister reechoed that the Freetown City Council must ensure the bye-laws are enforced and the public is properly sensitized on their duties towards cleaning of the city. She called on all Sierra Leoneans to "clean the city for the betterment of us all", and also urged Masada to ensure they meet to their commitment.
Mayor of the Freetown City Council, Franklin Bode Gibson, said the signing ceremony marked the start of responsibility of waste collection, management and conversion by Masada. He said: "I feel joy and dignified in handing over the responsibility of waste collection in the city to Masada Waste Management Company". He cautioned that people must pay for waste as "Masada is a profit-making company which the government cannot continue to support to clean the Freetown municipality" but that the company will have to sustain itself. He indicated that now is the time to tell the people in the city that they must start to pay for their waste, and called on all not to throw their wastes on the streets or in the gutters.
He promised to ensure that the bye-laws are enforced by their municipal police in order to ensure a sustainable cleaner city.
Madam Ami Dumbuya, the Project Leader in Sierra Leone, thanked the government, the Ministry of Local Government and all Sierra Leoneans for their support towards this venture. She promised that what the people of Sierra Leone have been seeing when they were cleaning the city was just a pinch of the iceberg as they are going to ensure the city is clean compared to Lagos and other parts of the African continent.
Madam Dumbuya called on all Sierra Leoneans to help clean the city by making sure that wastes are don't dumped into gutters and other non-ideal places.