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Waterloo Council hands over cleaning gadgets to councilors

September 13, 2016 By Joseph S. Magai

The Western Area Rural District Council has handed over cleaning gadgets; bags of rice and money to councilors so as to enable them undertake cleaning exercises in their various wards.

The cleaning gadgets include wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, locally made hoes and cutlasses, pickaxes, among others. The sum of five hundred thousand Leones and a bag of rice were given to each of the 19 councilors in the district.

At a presentation ceremony of the items to the councilors last Friday at the council’s conference hall in Waterloo,Chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council (WARDC), Alhassan Cole, said the distribution of the cleaning gadgets was in line with the President’s recovery program to have clean, healthy and sanitized environment.

He added that the district was faced with threat of malaria and cholera especially during the rainy season and that the council and its councilors including their ward committee members have a responsibility to prevent the looming threat.

“Our experience over the years with the Ebola, diarrhea, malaria, cholera, among other diseases, urged me and my administration to dip into our own source of revenue to buy these items in order to facilitate cleaning exercises in the district,” he said, noting that the food for work would also boost the youth to always keep their environment clean.

He said as a council, they were sympathizing with the government for what he referred to as over burden especially at a time that the country was facing economic crisis.

The WARDC Chairman said the district has potential to take care of its own problems only if residents could pay their taxes and property rates to the council.

He however expressed his dissatisfaction over the non-compliance of the people of the district in the payment of their taxes and rates, which, he said have crippled the council from undertaking improved service delivery.

 He said they have not even received twenty percent compliance from people in the area of revenue collection and that in 2016; the percentage of compliance was zero.

Amidst these challenges, the council under the administrative leadership of Ahmed Shekuba Koroma, has outsourced the collection of property rates and market dues to reliable companies, an intervention which the WARDC Chairman said has turned things around for the council.

“We have used the monies collected from property rates to renovate the Kissy Town community centre and construct a public toilet. We gave generator, DSTV package, and plasma television to the youth of that community. We have replicated it to other areas in the district. We have also embarked on feeder roads rehabilitation with support from Road Maintenance Fund,” he disclosed.

He heaped praise on the current Chief Administrator of the council, Ahmed Shekuba Koroma for his astute leadership qualities, which he said has led to the council’s being rated ninth position in 2016 among the 19 local councils in the country.

“Previously, we were rated 18th and 19th performing councils but since Ahmed Shekuba Koroma took over, our performance have significantly improved,” he said.

Councilor Unisa Keister of ward 330 in the Western Area Rural District said since they were elected in 2012, they have been advocating for tools to clean their various communities especially during the rainy season.

“Our localities are very untidy and councilors do not have the necessary resources to buy cleaning gadgets. We are not on monthly voucher, but we are only given sitting allowances which is not enough to even take care of ourselves, let alone buy cleaning items. We will have to clean our environment every Saturday so as to prevent any occurrence of diseases,” he said.

He disclosed that there have been reported cases of cholera and malaria in his ward due to poor sanitation, thus promising to be working with his ward committee members and youth to always clean the ward.

Chief Administrator, Ahmed Shekuba Koroma, said the donation of the cleaning gadgets to councilors was one of the ways that the council could support them to be accountable for their stewardship to their people.

He said the council would continue to support developmental programs in the district, so as to make it one of the best districts in the country.

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