Welthungerhilfe (WHH) Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs has celebrated World Environment Day on Monday 5th June 2023 at the Bo Shopping City Plaza.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Beat Plastic Pollution” and attracted officials from the Ministry of Local Government, City Councils from Koidu, Bo, Kenema and Makeni, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Ministry of Health and Sanitation among others.
Delivering the keynote address, Santigie Kamanda Kanu, the Deputy Country Director of WHH stated that the celebration is very important, and his organization prioritizes issues concerning the environment.
“This day is very big for us as we have components working on various interventions issues like solid and liquid waste management, agriculture, food, nutrition and sanitation,” Santigie said.
He noted that WHH is collaborating with other partners and Government institutions like the local councils in finding solutions to the increasing challenge of plastic waste.
“We believe that coming together with other partners we can beat plastic pollution in the country. Other countries are already addressing the challenge and it is urgent that Sierra Leone does the same before it is too late,”
The Director of Local Government, Brima Newman Combay noted that issues bordering on the environment are close to the heart of his Ministry and working with WHH is paramount in addressing environmental issues.
“Waste management is a huge challenge in the country especially plastic waste which is seen everywhere,” Combay stated; adding that the Government is determined to address the issue with the increasing support to local councils on waste management and donation of garbage trucks compactors.
Francis Tiffa, the Chief Administrator of the Koidu New Sembehun City Council (KNSCC) in his statement thanked WHH for the continued support towards managing the municipality’s waste in addition to providing needed infrastructure for same.
“Without WHH, the Council would have struggled to manage the waste in Koidu City. Over the years, they have helped us a lot by constructing a Waste Management Department (WMD), Landfill Site with a garage and weighbridge in addition to other facilities,” Tiffa explained.
He went to state that if Koidu is considered one of the cleanest cities in Sierra Leone, it is because of the support of WHH since 2019.
Thomas Foray, the Deputy Head of WHH Waste Management Project said that the organization prioritizes plastic waste management hence the reason the project is supporting Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in all four project locations of Koidu, Kenema, Bo and Makeni Cities.
He emphasized that WHH cannot achieve the objectives of managing waste in the country without the support of the Government and relevant partners.
“WHH will continue to support efforts aimed at tackling waste in Sierra Leones especially the local city councils we are working with,” Thomas Foray committed.
World Environment Day is celebrated annually as set aside by the United Nations to shine a light on the ongoing challenges faced by the environment as a result of man’s activities.