By Tamba Borbor, Public Relations Officer
International Non-Governmental Organisation, Welthungerhilfe (WHH) has on Friday 3rd July 2020 observed International Plastic Bag Free Day in Koidu City. The Day has been set aside to create awareness about the effects of single use plastic bags on the environment.
In observing the Day, WHH was engaged in a three-day exercise which started on 3rd and ended on 5th July 2020 to give out rice to residents of Koidu City in exchange for plastic waste.
In his opening statement at the official launch of the second phase of Plastic For Rice campaign in observation of International Plastic Bag Free Day, WHH Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEAL) Officer- Ansu Bangura explained about the urgent need for people to know that “waste is wealth” as opposed to the traditional thinking.
He noted that clogged up gutters and waterways are because of indiscriminate littering of plastic waste; adding that with the manifest commitment of the Mayor of Koidu and the youth, the WHH waste management project would be successful.
“Plastic has a lot of impact on the environment as it also affects food security and marine resources. We have to be highly environmentally friendly and help ensure Koidu becomes the leanest city in Sierra Leone,” the WHH MEAL Officer said.
In her statement at the launch of the second phase of WHH Plastic For Rice activity coinciding with International Plastic Bag Free Day, the new Environment and Social Officer of the KNSCC- Nanah Jalloh-Conteh acknowledged the good work of WHH while urging the people to take advantage of the opportunity by bringing out more plastic waste to get more rice in return.
“Plastic waste makes Koidu City filthy and we must do our best to get rid of it entirely,” Nanah stated; adding that parents must not send their kids to gather plastic on their behalf as they are the future of the country.
Officially launching the programme, the New Chief Administrator of KNSCC, Francis M. Tiffa re-echoed the fact that “waste is wealth” while also informing that having worked in several cities around the country, he can certainly confirm that “Koidu is the cleanest City in Sierra Leone.”
He stressed the environmental hazard posed by plastic as it does not decompose for over 500 years.
“A filthy environment causes illnesses which is why the Government is spending lots of money on waste collection. Let us show patriotism by joining WHH and the Council to clean the municipality,” Tiffa maintained.
The three-day plastic for rice activity undertaken by WHH in collaboration with the KNSCC had four plastic collection points including Kania Junction, Small Market at Hill Station, KNSCC Compound and Lebanon Junction. During the entire exercise, tons of plastic waste was collected around the municipality which would be recycled to produce plastic paving stones. Plastic For Rice campaign is part of numerous activities under the Improved Waste Management Project implemented by WHH and funded by the British people through the Department For International Development (DFID).