UNOPS commissions Biogas System, drainage facilities for Susan’s Bay community

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By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has completed and handed over a biogas energy plant, water tanks, 10 modern toilet facilities, and drainages to the Susan’s Bay Slum Community with funding from the Government of Japan.

The project was done under the Freetown City Council Resilience Building for Disaster Affected Communities in Freetown. The project is a significant and practical improvement to the lives of the people of Sierra Leone, while adhering to steadfast values and international frameworks on resilience building.

The Japanese Government partnered with UNOPS on the project to reduce the risks of disaster and build resilience in line with a number of international frameworks such as Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which highlight the significance of resilient community building for sustainable development.

UNOPS Ghana Multi-Country Office (GHMCO) Director-Representative Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba said the cooperation between UNOPS and the Freetown City Council (FCC) is strong, knowing that the Mayor and her team are always ready to work with them on different projects.

“UNOPS values the partnership with the FCC and looks forward to continuing to support the council in enhancing its infrastructure and implementing its broader development agenda,” he said.

Japan Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hisanobu Mochizuk, said Japan’s support has helped UNOPS build better lives for people in need by focusing on constructing and rehabilitating infrastructure in fragile environments like Susan’s Bay, and providing humanitarian assistance.

“The Resilience Building for Disaster Affected Communities Project maximized and valued the involvement of local communities during construction works and put particular emphasis on women’s empowerment and gender equality. The gender equality aspect was particularly relevant for this project in consideration of the fact that 49% of the beneficiaries are women,” he said.

The project directly contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 11, which concerns Sustainable Cities and Communities. It is believed that the project will have a positive impact on the lives of the residents of Susan’s Bay and Mabella by increasing resilience through improved basic infrastructure. The constructed toilets with water tanks, rehabilitated drainages, footpaths, and stairways, and most importantly the Biogas System will not only turn food waste into manure but will provide light for the community, making the settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

Freetown Mayor, Yvonne Denise Aki-Sawyerr, said that the plan of the Council is to transform Freetown, but it is going to be taken step by step, including planting of trees, building of resilience. She noted that Susan’s Bay had experienced many disasters, and part of the reason for such is because the community is not planned.

 The community is prone to disaster due to unplanned construction of houses, and there is no vehicular access road to the community, which also makes it difficult to respond to disaster.

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