August 6, 2018
By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
L-R: Minister of Social Welfare Baindu Dassama and Water Resources Minister Dr. Tengbeh
The Ministers of Water Resources, and Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Saturday, 4th August, joined hundreds of youth in the national cleaning exercise in the mountain rural communities.
Dr. Jonathan Tengbe and Madam Baindu Dassama respectively are residents of Tree-Planting community in ward 395, constituency 112.
The first stop of the ministers was Tree-Planting communities, where they spoke to dozens of youth that were out and about cleaning the community. They then moved to Gloucester, Leicester, IMAT and Regent Communities.
Barely few days after assuming office, President Julius Maada Bio announced Executive Order No.1, which among others pronounced a national cleaning day on the first Saturday of each month.
According to Ms. Dassama, the cleaning exercise is a national call by President Bio. She noted though that since the initiative was introduced few months ago, she had noticed that some residents at Tree Planting have not been participating in the exercise.
“I have noticed that our brothers and sisters within this community are not interested in the cleaning exercise, so this morning I have to call the soldiers and the councilor to ensure that youth come out and clean,” she said.
The Social Welfare Minister said the cleaning exercise is a very good initiative that has helped avert flooding the country had experienced in past years.
“I will continue to appeal to our compatriots to join us in this exercise. The time for politics is over. It is time Sierra Leoneans moved from politicking and embrace the new government for the development of this country. This cleaning exercise is for our own health and not any government officials. The turnout today is very encouraging. Thanks to the councilor and the military,” she added.
On his part, Water Resources Minister Dr. Jonathan Tengbeh said being in the community to clean was demonstration that cabinet ministers are committed to the president’s vision of getting Freetown clean.
“This is a fantastic effort, health is wealth, and cleanness is next to Godliness; so president Bio’s vision is correct. It is next to God. There are many airborne diseases these days within our communities, so if we don’t clean around we might be prone to many diseases,” he noted.
Dr. Tengbeh said the government will develop further programmes in the future that would augment the cleaning and make it more sustainable.
Meanwhile, Councilor Zachariah Kanneh said cleaning together with the ministers motivated a lot of young people to come out and join the exercise.
He said the community is vulnerable to malaria and that continuous cleaning would possibly prevent against the deadly disease.
SOGEFEL SARL, the company that is refurbishing hostels and constructing other utility buildings at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, provided trucks, caterpillar and other tools to facilitate the cleaning exercise.
Project Manager Aliou Shaibou, said they supported the cleaning exercise in the community as part of their corporate social responsibility.