Freetown is booming with filth, no one is guilty
Any Sierra Leonean who is not well abreast with the functions of government will start wondering who is actually responsible for the cleaning of the city, because those they think are responsible are turning blind eyes to the filth booming in the city, which one recent visitor described as an eyesore.
It is unbelievable to see rats in this 21st century running side by side in the city with human beings, especially at evening rush hours. It is also disheartening to see citizens holding their noses when approaching certain areas in the city. It is but painful to see mountains of garbage in strategic areas in the city, unattended to for days or weeks.
As a matter of fact, cleaning the city over the years has been politicized. The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Raymond Kabia initiated the setting up of a management waste company called the Freetown Management Waste Company charged with the responsibility of making sure the city was free of filth. The initial funding to kick start the company was from international donors who started with tools and equipment.
According to the said project, funding was to be sustainable but then came the problem when political interference rocks the company and the main donors eventually pulled out.
Currently, payment of salaries by the company poses a major constraint and the will to mainten vehicles is the biggest challenge the company now faces. The business strategy the company depends upon for its sustenance of is not generating the expected result. Coupled with these challenges, the possibility of the company surviving the test of time stands questionable. Majority of the workers doing the dirty jobs in the company are considering quitting for better job as working conditions are far from being favorable.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
With all these bottlenecks, one may be forced to ask who is actually responsible for the filthiness of the city. Â Is it City Council or the Government?
One school of thought is putting the blame on the city council because council has failed to honor its own part of the contract by not paying workers of the company. Another school of thought is casting blame on the central government for allowing political interference into donor support project which is contrary to project implementation ethics.
This government holds the view that all areas of governance should be filled by its own people at the expense of the opposition. In the process, a lot of mismanagement has taken place.
The President should step in to salvage the situation before filth and hardship over come city dwellers. Agenda for change should include a change from filth to decency and not the reverse otherwise we will soon be heading towards a state of not economic emergency this time round but towards health and sanitation disaster.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
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