Dirty, smelly capital sign of general nonchalance in today’s Sierra Leone

This is Signal Hill, a once upscale neighbourhood in the outskirts of Freetown. This street is lined by garbage on both sides. If Signal Hill is full of garbage , what about the slums  ? We will bring you more photos of the filth in Freetown from different parts of the capital in our campaign to get the government to sit up and do something about the problem.
Tuesday October 25, 2005

When a nation cannot take good care of her capital city, it speaks a lot about the government in power and all those thrust with the responsibility to govern the nation. That Freetown, a once beautiful city that radiated not only natural beauty but cleanliness , is now being overrun by piles of garbage  blocking some streets clearly shows that the government in power is not doing its job.The sanitary situation  of Freetown , as seen in the picture above , is very distasteful. Because there is no serious attempt at garbage collection and disposal, the whole city is being overtaken by  garbage-strewn streets with their attendant hazards of rats, roaches and the dangerous outbreak of diseases.

The danger that garbage  poses to human beings is clearly illustrated in the picture above. Children, for some reasons, delight in playing on garbage heaps or rummaging through them searching for God-knows-what. Their unhealthy preoccupation brings them in contact with dangerous germs that they take home to their families and others with whom they associate. This is one of the easiest ways of provoking deadly epidemic outbreaks.It is hard to understand why this government in power has sat down and allowed our capital to be one of the dirtiest in West Africa.

Granted. Filthy capitals , with garbage heaps all over, is now a common feature of many African countries. The same problem exists in other capitals  like Conakry , Monrovia, Banjul, Lagos , Kampala and the like.  However, this is not a good excuse for our authorities in Freetown. There is nothing that precludes us from setting better examples. After all, Sierra Leone was once the Beacon of Light of West Africa.We think that the reason our capital is so dirty is that the government and the relevant authorities do not care for the welfare of the people. We know that tensions exist within the government over this matter of garbage collection. COCORIOKO  learnt that the job  had  been taken  from Health and Sanitation and given it to Youth and Sport,  with the idea  that it would help address youth unemployment . There is also the friction existing between the government and the Freetown City Council .But again, no serious government can use this as an excuse for having a dirty capital.

We think that a good government will always try to put its house in order in the interest of the nation, since they must know that any house divided among itself cannot stand . We therefore stand by our belief that the government should take the blame for the dirty capital that Freetown has become.

President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah must personally take this problem of city filth and danger to public health seriously. With the time ticking on his retirement, we are sure he does not want to leave such an inglorious legacy . The NPRC  may have their faults, like any other institution, but the capital they handed to the SLPP government was relatively cleaner and healthier. The junta organized regular cleaning exercises and garbage collection was executed with despatch. Freetown reached its present disgraceful state during SLPP  rule.

The people of Freetown do not care a rat’s tail  about who is not doing the job. They are paying their taxes and  deserve a better deal. They do not want to hear excuses. What  they want to see is action — patriotic action to clear all the mounds of filth in the capital and restore Freetown to her former glory.

There is  nonchallance in today’s Sierra Leone and this is hurting the people. We call on the government to get out of its nonchallance and lethargy immediately.

We hope that the government will get to work immediately and rid  Freetown of all the filth and health hazards. Cleanliness is next to godliness and any godly  government will ensure that its capital and towns are kept in a perfectly clean condition.




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