That FCC Wan Pot Operation
It could be recalled that since the ascendancy of his Lordship, Herbert George Williams in 2008 as Mayor of Freetown, he has undertaken a series of operations to make the city looks like a modern one. Efforts made so far in achieving that dream has been largely futile as filth and garbage continue to plague the city centre like mountains.
Operations launched since the coming of Mayor Williams into the power corridors of the Freetown City Council (FCC) range from ‘operation clean the city,’ ‘operation sweep,’ ‘operation push back’, and this time around it is ‘operation wan pot’.
According to the Council authorities this operation one pot will be targeting the whole of Freetown, starting from Levuma beach in the west and ending at Orogu Bridge in the east end of the city. This operation they said will be primarily targeting shack structures (pan-bodi) and other odd buildings which make the city appear like a shanty town.
Prior to this time, it has been rumored in many circles in Freetown that the whole city looks like one big slum. And certainly that assertion by Freetonians themselves is the obvious veracity. Looking at Freetown from mountain tops, the length and breadth of the city falls within the United Nations definition of what is been referred to as a slum. In one of Nazia Pervez’s presentation in her film on the environment titled ‘Lost Freetown’, she glaringly paints that 90 percent of Freetown is made up of slums. Some community development practitioners in Sierra Leone have defined the urban settlement of Freetown to be two miles radius of the historic Cotton Tree. Beyond that definition, all the rest is being qualified to be slum settlements.
Certainly, as evidences are in abundance that qualifies Freetown to be seen as a slum city, then that ‘operation wan pot’ will be a laudable step in the right direction. Many Freetonians have commented that getting rid of slum dwellings including shabby wooden structures (bode ose) will make Freetown a modern city. In terms of structured building infrastructures, Freetown can boast of few. Some of the buildings are haphazardly aligned against the drainages which has automatically clogged the smooth flow of rain water and sewages. The meandering construction of structures around the city centre has not only affected smooth flow of drainages, but it has also affected the electricity alignment of cables to reach houses and other important industrial areas.
‘Operation wan pot’- from Levuma to Orogu bridge, obviously, will inconvenience a lot of people and subsequently touch on many toes, but making the city clean and the beautification of Freetown is a topmost priority in the Freetown City Council’s (FCC) Agenda for Change, thus it must be implemented to the letter.
As ‘operation wan pot’ is not the first initiative by undertaken by FCC, a series of operations have been carried out which have uncle and aunts relationships all in an effort to re-brand Freetown as an El-Dorado in Sierra Leone.
Transforming Freetown into one of the beautiful cities in Africa, is a Herculean task that requires an iron fist to be executed, therefore, FCC authorities must be in readiness to ignore the tantrums thrown at them by the public and ensure that the pruning of the city is done.
However, such a warning is timely and appropriate as past experiences with FCC’s earlier operations have proven to be futile at the mid way of their implementation process. This time around, inhabitants of the Freetown cosmopolitan city are hoping and praying that ‘operation wan pot’ will be an achievable one, unlike the previous ones.
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