Rubbish and waste in Freetown’s streets, waterways and gutters is polluting the environment and contaminating the city’s water, leading to an increase in diseases such as malaria, typhoid and diarrhoea.
Freetown City Council and Western Area Rural District Council (WARD C) are working with the President’s Delivery Team, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Freetown WASH consortium on Operation Clean Freetown (OCF).
It is funded by the Government of Sierra Leone and UKAID and aimed at reducing the risk of epidemics by improving solid waste management in the city by:
1. Improving the waste management infrastructure. Flattening and compacting the dumpsites at Kingtom and Granville Brook to make more space, temporarily increasing transit/waste collection points in Western Area Urban and Western Area Rural to 77 (at least one in each of the participating wards), and installing litter bins in the Central Business District.
2. Equipping and training youth groups as door-to-door waste collection micro-enterprises. The youth groups will receive 15 months of business development support to help them become sustainable businesses as well as capital investments including motorized tricycles, cleaning equipment and tools and customer registration aids.
3. Requiring all households to participate in an intensive cleaning process which will target an average of four wards every two days over a 30-day period. It will be compulsory for all households to subscribe for regular paid waste collection from the youth groups operating in their wards, at a charge of Le2,000 per rice bag, or from an alternative waste management provider. The youth groups will transport collected waste to the transit points within their wards. These will be emptied by Masada or Community Clean Association depending on the location.
4. Enforcement of by-laws; awareness raising, discussions with the manufacturers and distributors of plastic bags, sachets and bottles, to hear and secure their contributions to solutions to the problem of plastic waste; and an annual competition to reward the cleanest ward in Freetown.