In a momentous event on November 13, 2023, the official handover ceremony for the Susan’s Bay Community Resilience Building Project took place, transitioning the initiative from its implementing partner, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), to the Freetown City Council (FCC).
The ceremony, attended by esteemed figures including Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency Mochizuki Hisanobu, celebrated the project’s success. Key attendees included UNOPS Regional Director, Ifeoma Charles Monwuba, the UNOPS Country Director, the FCC Deputy Mayor, the FCC Chief Administrator, past and present FCC Councillors, and the Community Chairman.
The Susan’s Bay Community initiative encompasses several critical elements: Installation of 20 public toilets (including 2 accessible to the disabled) across 5 locations, equipped with overhead water tanks,
implementation of 75 street lights, including illumination for the Hagan Street market,
enhanced drainage systems in selected areas of the community,
reconstruction of a staircase connecting Susan’s Bay to Rock Street, complete with safety railings,
establishment of two charging booths, each offering 24 charging outlets,
introduction of a bio-digester at Hagan’s Street Market, converting organic waste from the market and its surroundings into energy.
Notably, the energy produced by the bio-digester will power the streetlights, phone charging booths and facilitates water pumping for the toilets.
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of the Freetown Municipality expressed enthusiasm for the intervention, highlighting its profound impact on Susan’s Bay residents. She lauded the collaborative efforts involving community stakeholders who provided land for constructing three of the public toilets. The Mayor emphasized community engagement in construction and management, with residents overseeing the public toilets, supported by FCC oversight.
She extended gratitude to the Japanese Government for funding the initiative and recognized UNOPS for their collaboration. To ensure efficient management of the waste-to-energy bio-digester, she engaged representatives from Dutch manufacturer Waste Transformers, local representatives of Freetown Waste Transformers, as well as UNOPS and FCC engineers. Discussions revolved around maintenance plans and the possibility of installing more bio-digesters across communities in Freetown, showcasing a vision for sustainable development.