By Yusufu S. Bangura
Residents residing very close to the Kissy Bumeh dumpsite have on Monday told this medium that the dumpsite poses serious health medical and environmental hazards.
Kissy Culvert is one of the communities that are very close to the Kissy Bumeh dumpsite at Ferry Junction in Freetown.
Residents in that community have explained to this medium how they have seriously been affected over the years by the smoke produced by the dumpsite when put on fire, high amount of heat and a very offensive smell coming from the dumpsite.
Pa Mohamed Foday Conteh, one of the residents at Culvert community, expressed frustration over the dumpsite, noting that the waste brought to the dumpsite has formed heaps, and that they were afraid that the waste might fall down and people may lose their lives.
“We don’t want this to happen because most people will die, that is why we are calling on the government and Freetown City Council to help us,” he said.
Pa Mohamed said on a daily basis, they battle with offensive smell, smoke, mosquitoes, among other harmful insects, adding that the heat around the dumpsite sometimes leads to fire outbreak without anyone setting it ablaze.
Another concerned residents, Hawanatu Turay, who also resides just a few meters away from the site, lamented that with five children and other family members in her care, she has over the years spent the little she earns to buy drugs to treat malaria and typhoid.
She cried that she cannot leave the premise to anywhere else because she does gardening to cater for her family since she lost her husband four years ago.
Commercial and private car drivers interviewed at the scene said that the situation at the site was alarming, worrisome and prone to accident.
They said that as a place where drivers normally increase their speed, they have been forced to slow down because of the garbage-a situation they said has caused unbearable traffic congestion.
One of the drivers observed that the site was more dangerous for night drivers as well as first time users of the road, because, such drivers will unknowingly bump into the heap of garbage and spell calamity for passengers.
Mustapha Kemokai, Environmental and Social Officer at the Freetown City Council told this medium that the council has been working on plans to address the situation and that a lot of things needed to be handled around the Bumeh dumpsite at Kissy.
Mr. Kemokai said they were trying to dig a borehole as a disaster mitigation strategy especially for cases of fire incident, adding that they were paying a lot of money to take care of the dumpsite.