“So much household waste is dumped in gutters to the extent that they constantly cause blockage which in turn, results to flooding whenever it rains,” said a number of concerned residents who spoke with AYV.
Shortly after the exercise ended between 11:30am and 1pm on Saturday 5th May, 2018, mountains of garbage were deposited at street intersections and junctions for collection by pick-up trucks. However, one common complain that floated almost everywhere was that the pick-up trucks were either not adequate and/or simply failed to return to collect remaining garbage after making a first trip.
On the contrary, the whole exercise was described as very successful and timely. “After the cleaning, the water can now easily flow through the drainage and empty into the sea, so I appreciate that and I’m happy for that,” one resident in Kroo Bay said.
Michael Abiodu Frazer, a fisherman in Kroo Bay said the cleaning exercise has a big effect on the slum dwellers. The area is “among the disaster prone communities in Freetown with perennial flooding problem which often causes death and damage to properties especially during the rainy season,” he said.
Earlier, in a snap interview with the new Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, he said though the start of the process is successful, there is still much work to be done. “I love the enthusiasm of the people… they clearly want to get their environment very clean,” he told journalists while inspecting the exercise in the central Freetown area.
He added that the process is going to continue and will not stop at just once per month.” Dr. Wurie maintained that the current government is more than determined to ensure that a general clean bill of health for all Sierra Leoneans, irrespective of their status, tribe, region or political affiliation is achieved at all cost as it is one of the main areas of focus in the SLPP’s New Direction Manifesto.
It could be recalled that a monthly national cleaning day in which public areas are cleaned of rubbish, trees planted and walls repainted was introduced following the advent of the 1992-1996 coup led by Captain Valentine Strasser.
The current President of Sierra Leone, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio took office in early April 2018 after a tumultuous election campaign, ending a decade-long rule by the All People’s Congress (APC).