By Sulaiman Massaquoi
Knowledge gained has to be shared in order for it to be meaningful to the society in general and that was what Bo City Council (BCC) amply demonstrated on Wednesday May 21 and Thursday May 22, when it played hosts to its Makeni City Council (MCC) counterparts in an inter-city exchange visit to share knowledge and experience gained in waste management practices and to showcase the two cities’ efforts at it. It was an epoch making event spiced by the presence of the Mayors of Bo and Makeni, garnished with a display of waste derived products and embellished by the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the two Mayors and their witnesses. It was a monumental event that will occupy a special place in the annals of local councils in Sierra Leone as for the first time, two sister councils buried politics for development.
Glittering with sartorial splendor and beaming with smiles that belied her cool disposition, the Mayor of Makeni City Council, Her Worship Mrs. Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara, was welcomed to Bo by the Mayor of Bo City Council, His Worship Harold Logie Tucker on Wednesday May 21 at the Wusu Sannoh Building. During the first day’s session, the Chief Administrators of Bo and Makeni – Mr. William Alpha and Mr. Rapid Kamara respectively – introduced their Mayors to the thunderous applause of those present.
In his brief and succinct address, the Mayor BCC, Harold L. Tucker, disclosed his admiration for his Makeni counterpart as the only female Mayor in the country but that she has waded into waters some men have never stepped into. He said even though they both belong to two different political parties, they have a strong cooperation that has transcended party bounds. He emphasized Mayor Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara’s strong will and drive for development, which he said compels her to be calling him on a regular basis to cross-check on programs and hang heads on important matters.
When she took the podium, Her Worship the Mayor of Makeni City Council, Mrs. Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara (Queen of the North) reiterated similar sentiments of putting party aside to collaborate on development. She divulged her belief in not reinventing the wheel and that her presence in Bo was an acceptance that Bo City Council has taken strides in waste management that they have not done, equally expressing the readiness to learn from them in order to make Makeni cleaner. She highlighted the challenges in waste management and why she came with her team to gain experiences from Bo that can be replicated in Makeni and other parts of the country.
Power-point presentation was done by the Chief Administrator of Bo City Council, Mr. William Alpha on the pilot phase of the ‘support to solid waste management in Bo city and its environs’, which is implemented by the DfID-sponsored internationally renowned NGO Welthungerhilfe, and the second phase which strives to put into motion the recommendation in the Bo City Waste Management Plan.
The WHH Waste Technician, Alfred Maada Fobay, also made a presentation on monitoring activities of the youth groups and SMEs bankrolled by the DfID-sponsored project. Another highlight of last Wednesday’s program was the very elaborate and highly technical presentation by the two waste experts from UK – Glenn Fleet and Derek Greedy – on landfill waste management.
On Thursday May 22, the host Mayor took his the guest Mayor and team on a conducted tour of the Klin Bo Youths and SMEs involved in waste reduction exercises and other areas of interest like the new market and the new stadium. The SMEs from Makeni also showcased their waste derived products and expressed happiness to teach their counterparts in Bo while also learning from them as well the special skills they possess.
The climax of the occasion was the signing of the memorandum of understanding showing a commitment to collaborate and partner on waste management and possibly more than that.
The vote of thanks was moved by the Chairperson of the Health Committee in the Makeni City Council.