During the afternoon hours on Thursday 20th June 2019 there was a downpour of rain in the capital Freetown which lasted for about 30 minutes to an hour and at the end leads to overflow of water on plenty streets, debris, gravel, plastic waste and other waste at different junctions in the capital.
The question that comes in mind when you see such is how effective is the flood mitigation under the Transform Freetown project, because this situation happens few weeks after the flood mitigation exercises and the exercise was based mainly on clearing and cleaning of gutters, waterways, culvert, and bridges within the capital.
Some minutes after the rain, I was out and I caught up with people affected by the rain, one of such person was a woman who was clearing the debris and plastic wastes in front of her business place and asked her where are those wastes coming from, she responded that they are coming from the hillsides, and that the people residing in the hilly areas will wait when it’s rain they dump their waste in the gutters and waterways, at the end they settle at the junctions where we are doing business and sometimes cause the overflow of the water on the roads.”
Another I caught up with was a driver who according to him the rain just show how ineffective the cleaning exercise was because barely days after the cleaning exercise the whole place is flooded with dirt and for the ones living in hill tops it show how low their mentality are as Sierra Leoneans for throwing dirt when it rains not minding others and the repercussion of such act.
“People lack the culture of cleaning that is why we will always see this type of situation whenever it rains,” was his reaction when asked why he thinks this situation occurs whenever it rains.
In my opinion as a writer these are some recommendations I feel might be able to help cease this ugly incidence:
-Engaging in massive community sensitization and education about waste management.
-Improvement in the drainage systems. Most of the streets in the capital are with poor drainage system unless the newly constructed one’s but still there must be provision for the improvement because with that there will be a free flow of the water and it will go directly to the sea without causing no harm.
-Enforcement of bye-laws, there are bye-laws but they are not that much enforced so with the enforcement of these laws, the residents will learn from those penalized.
-Start punishing perpetrators of these offenses so that will that their is repercussion for their actions (kill dog befoe dog make dog know say die dae.)