22 May 2019

Sierra Leone: Citizens Endorse President Bio's National Cleaning Initiative

Max A. Konneh, Press Officer, MLGRD

PRESIDENT BIO IN ONE OF THE WASTE COLLECTION VEHICLES DONATED BY CHINA TO SIERRA LEONE

YOUTHS IN HASTINGS CLEANING THEIR ENVIRONMENT

An appreciable number of Sierra Leoneans in various parts of the country have described the ongoing National Cleaning Exercise as a "big success". Responding to questions posed by a cross-section of the media on the status of the exercise in their localities, during the last National Cleaning Programme held on the 4th of May, 2019, the residents showered praises on President Julius Maada Bio and his government for what they described as a laudable venture. The residents, who also called for a continuation of the process, outlined a number of challenges facing them and proffered meaningful recommendations on how they could be ameliorated. Samuel Shyllon who resides in Lungi, Kafu Bullom Chiefdom in the Port Loko District, said the exercise has been going on smoothly since it started in their area. He said the initiative has not only helped to reduce the high volume of waste deposited in various parts of their community but has also given facelift to tourists attractions and other iconic institutions such as the Lungi International Airport. Flooding, he added has also become a thing of the past since the introduction of the exercise. Mr. Shyllon said as a result of resilience and political will on the part of government to ensure the country is rebranded, they have resolved to make the exercise a normal routine and hoped it will continue so as to maintain a safe healthy environment. Mohamed Kondoh in Hastings, Western Area Rural District, attributed the success of the cleaning exercise in their area to proactive measures put in place by some staff of the Ministry of Health to sensitize house holds on the need to keep their environment clean. He also admonished owners of undeveloped lands to keep them clean and tidy. A resident in Spur Road, Malaykah, described the programme as a national assignment and entreated his compatriots to avoid complacency and fully embrace the initiative. He commended the Freetown City Council for apprehending and taking punitive actions against detractors and introducing programmes that would further motivate communities participating in the exercise by introducing the Cleanest Zone Competition. He cited the lack of adequate safety gears, waste collection vehicles as some of the challenges facing them. The rampant and uncontrolled burning of wastes in some communities pose serious health hazards and warned against the practice. Leaders of two youth groups in Kossoh Town and Hastings in the Western Area Rural District, Mohamed Kamara and Abdulai Jalloh urged government to put measures in place that would ensure stray and rabies infected dogs who serve as carriers of infectious diseases in communities are got rid of. They described the Bumeh Dump site as an eye sore and called for it immediate relocation to a suitable place. An old lady, Serian Jones who resides in the Central Business District, the city is gradually transforming into an enviable one and called on residents and traders at Kissy road and Abacha Street to keep their environment clean. Residents in Kailahun, Kono, Kenema who also spoke to the media appreciated the imitative and appealed for robust measures that would ensure citizens observe hygiene rules to avoid disasters such as flooding and infectious diseases.

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