Having trained youth to build and empty lavatory, Save the Children International has presented to the Freetown City Council EVAC pump machine, a Dyna Truck and plastic barrels to help beneficiaries carryout the operation.
Save the Children's team lead by the Acting Project Manager, Marni Sulaiman Kargbo, made the presentation to Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer at the Freetown City Council compound last Friday.
The EVAC pump machine would be used to empty toilets and deposit it into the 60 litre plastic barrels, and then placed on the Dyna Truck for onward disposal.
Sulaiman said following a study, Save the Children realised that they must act quickly to complement government's effort to tackle and eliminate sanitation problem in the city
"We found out that there are many houses in the city without toilet facilities and those with toilet facilities are in dilapidated conditions," he said.
He said the study also revealed that most of the food like cookery and other cooked, boiled, and fried food that people buy in the market come from those communities.
He said the pilot phase started in the eastern part of Freetown and Save the Children funded it beneficiaries of four youth groups with seven members each to build toilet facility for six households.
The second phase, he said, was hundred toilets of which residents provided the materials while save the children provided labour
Also, he said they formed other two youth groups of seven members each to empty the toilets, adding that the youth have been doing the dislodging manually which in itself is another source of disease transmission.
He noted the EVAC pump brought from South Africa for 44,000 United States Dollars is meant to capacitate the trainees and reduce the risk of disease transmission.
"The advantage of it is that it is potable. You can take it to any rugged terrain. So even if it is up the mountains, the guys can just take it there and do their dislodging safely like that," he said.
Receiving the machine, containers and car key, the mayor thanked Save the Children for the initiative and implored the team to come with more.
She said the presentation would give assurance to people who buy food in the market that the communities where these food are coming from have now got proper and modernise sanitation mechanism.
She promised to take care of the equipment and assured the trainees that the machine and containers would be available whenever they need it.
The beneficiaries were very grateful for the training, start-up-kits and the equipment.
Sonia Koroma, the only woman among them said the equipment would make their work cleaner, safe and faster.
Meanwhile, one of the manufacturers of the EVAC pump machine is in town to help a local company for maintenance and reproduction of the same or a machine of higher quality.
The project was fully funded by DFID and cost a little over one hundred and eighty four million Leones.