YOUTH GROUP HOUSEHOLD WASTE COLLECTION BUSINESS CAUGHT DUMPING ILLEGALLY HAS PAID LE500,000 FINE
Under Operation Clean Freetown (OCF), door to door household waste businesses have been established in the 49 wards in Freetown and 11 wards in WARDC, which are included in the initiative. These youth-led businesses have been trained in waste management, and supplied with waste collection equipment including motorised tricycles. They are also in receipt of business development support for 15 months.
The Memorandum’s of Understanding signed with Freetown City Council or WARDC, requires these youth-led OCF household waste collection enterprises to operate with integrity in running their businesses, and to be familiar with the sanitation bye-laws and the process for enforcing them. The bye-laws state that: ‘No person shall throw, deposit or dispose of garbage in any street, public place or unauthorised place.’ Anyone convicted will be liable to a fine not exceeding Le500,000, six months’ imprisonment or both
On Thursday 1st June, the waste collection youth group servicing Ward 387 – the Hill Station, New England and Hill Cut area – was filmed by a member of the public dumping household waste in an illegal dumpsite behind Old School at OAU Villas.
As a consequence, the leader of the Ward 387 waste collection youth group and the driver of the tricycle were detained by the Metropolitan Police on Saturday 3rd June. They were both released on Monday 5th June after paying the Le500,000 fine imposed under the bye-laws. The Metropolitan Police officer in charge explained that had they failed to pay the Le500,000 fine, they would have received a prison sentence of up to six months. The other members of waste collection youth group were required to clear the illegal dumpsite and transport the waste to the Kissy dumpsite, this exercise was completed on Monday 5th June.
The member of the public who reported the incident said that there had been problems with the area being used as an illegal dumpsite in the past. On this occasion, a number of residents witnessed the crime taking place, and were able to gather photographic evidence including the registration number of the motorised tricycle involved, and alert the authorities.
The member of the public who reported the incident said: “We are satisfied with the actions taken so far to resolve the issue. The response has been efficient and quick.”