By Mohamed Bangura (FBC intern)
Residents of Government Wharf have complained about an overpowering stench of raw sewage which is spilling out of a burst in pipe onto the ocean.
This, they said, has been ongoing over a decade now, adding that the stench poses a serious health risk not only to them, but also to the marine life.
The situation even gets worse during the rains, they said. The raw sewage comes from different public offices located around the Central Business District area of Freetown. They have been calling on City Council to fix up the damaged pipe and ensure that they repair the sewage treatment plant installed therein to treat the raw sewage before dumping it into the ocean, they said, but council has not been taking the issue seriously,.
“I have resided here for over a decade now. This spillage of raw sewage has continued for a very long time as it is wreaking havoc not only on us but also our children. Our children are fond of playing on the ground. And during the course of playing, they easily catch up diseases. As a result of this, we have been calling on council to come and remedy this issue, but they have not adhered to our calls. Five years ago, Council came and installed this sewage treatment plant to treat the raw sewage before dumping it into the ocean. But it will interest you to know that since the installation of this sewage treatment plant, it has not been working. In fact the person who held the keys to this treatment plant is already dead. As it stands, we are calling duty bearers to come and make this place, as this place is replete with facal sludge inundating this area with overpowering stench,” Mabinty Sillah, alias Mama Joe, said.
Mabinty Tity Kamara, the Head of Facal Sludge Management at City Council, said the sewage is coming from the Central Business District.
Most of the public buildings do not have enough space to enable the construction of septic tanks. This is the more reason this sewage system was built during the colonial area. As the pipes were run from these buildings, the current of the raw sewage comes from these buildings and empties around Government Wharf, into the ocean. There are also hydrants comprising manhole in the city, from which the raw sewage pipes pass through. Because most of the manholes are obsolete, they got broken sometimes. As a result the raw sewage would spill out of them, flowing of into these areas, but council has been very proactive to tackle such problems.
“We are not oblivious of the health hazards the raw sewage poses on both humans living around Government Wharf and the marine life in the ocean as the sewage empties therein. But council alone does not have the capacity to fix the problem. Building a standard sewage system is costly. That is, the council is working with its donor partners to ensure that it gets the capacity to remediate the problem. Equally, we are calling on everyone to join us and help us with fun so that we can make this thing come to pass,” Mabinty Tity Kamara, the Head of Facal Sludge Management, disclosed, adding that she has only done two years in office, and that she was reading literatures related to proper Facal management to help them tackle the problem. However, Mabinty Tity Kamara said since they are service providers, they are trying their best to solve the problem.