November 1, 2017 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
National Integrated Waste Management Coordinator in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), Francis Koroma, has called on residents of Freetown to properly manage their garbage in order to prevent diseases.
Mr. Koroma, who was speaking yesterday (31st October 2017) at Family Kingdom in Aberdeen, during a one-day stakeholder engagement on Faecal Sludge Management project at Kingtom dumping site, organized by the Freetown City Council, Goal and WSUP Advisory, said over 90% of residents in Freetown rely on site facilities for their sanitation needs.
He said the Kingtom dumping site is faced with serious challenges, noting that one-third of the original 43 acres of the dumpsite has been lost to encroachers, thus making it very difficult to access the site.
“There is also an evident of increase in roadside businesses due to lack of adequate maintenance,” he said.
He said there is a large proportion of the faecal sludge that is disposed on or near the dumpsite, noting that it is generated either by households or by manual pit empties.
“Vacuum tank operations (VTOs) remove faecal sludge from households and transport it to the official solid waste and faecal sludge disposal site at Kingtom. More than five thousand (5,000) people live within two hundred metre (200m) off the main faecal sludge and they are at risk of contracting diarrhoea and other related diseases,” he said.
In her presentation on faecal sludge treatment and disposal in Freetown, Director of WSUP, Jane Olley, said Kingtom is far from an ideal location for a faecal sludge management, adding that due to significant loss of land caused by encroachment, poor operation and financial management, it has been difficult to manage the dumpsite.
Environment and Social Officer of Freetown City Council (FCC), Suliaman Zainu Paker, in an interview after the event, said government over the years, has made attempt to manage the solid wastes but in the area of liquid wastes, much has never been done.
He said the faecal sludge management project is focusing on liquid wastes management, especially the septic tankers that are collecting wastes from toilets and deposit them at the dumpsite.
He said the project was designed to sensitize people on how they would properly manage their wastes in order to prevent them from diseases, adding that it will also educate people on how to treat their wastes at the Kingtom dumpsite, so that it would not affect those living in the surrounding communities.
“We have started the project by setting up a unit at FCC that would be providing basic training for people. This engagement is the third phase of the project where we are looking at the dumpsite at Kingtom,” he said.