Ward level stakeholder engagement is proving essential in generating the level of public participation necessary to achieve the ward-by-ward intensive cleaning of Freetown, as well as increasing awareness of the new door-to-door waste collection service that is being introduced under Operation Clean Freetown (OCF).
The intensive clean of Freetown and 11 wards in WARDC, which is currently underway, is intended to prepare the city for a more sustainable waste management process, which will include door-to-door household waste collection, and better enforcement of the by-laws governing littering and other anti-social waste disposal.
Operation Clean Freetown is led by the Freetown City Council (FCC) and Western Area Rural District Council (WARDC), with support from UKAID and the GoSL.
Under OCF, door-to-door household waste collection businesses have been set up in the 60 wards participating in the ward-by-ward intensive clean.
They become operational after the ward has been cleaned.
Before the intensive cleaning, councillor-led stakeholder engagement includes council meetings with the Ward Development Committee members, village heads (Rural only), tribal heads and other community groups, as well as the OCF waste management youth groups, police and Masada or Community Clean Association. During these meetings, the community recruits volunteers, divides up the ward into cleaning zones, points out illegal dumpsites, identifies locations for skips, and anticipates any difficulties or challenges that might be encountered during the cleaning process. Cleaning tools and other supplies are also allocated to community members.
On the day of the ward cleaning, Masada or Community Clean installs skips at 6.30am allowing volunteers, the OCF youth groups, households, businesses and community leaders to immediately begin the job of cleaning the ward. Ramadan has been an additional factor in the planning process, with an earlier start proving more convenient for those fasting.
Close collaboration with multiple stakeholders has been a feature of the design and implementation of OCF. This has included regular consultation meetings with the councillors, market women, Drivers Union and Traders Union amongst others.
The President’s Delivery Team lead says: “Solid waste management is an issue that every society has to deal with. The potential health consequences of improper waste management include infectious diseases, respiratory conditions, cancer, and birth defects among others. Everyone must play their role in ensuring that waste is disposed of safely and properly.”
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.