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Reply with quote  #1
Reply with quote  #2 
In the true national interest samba gutter and other similar disaster areas must be cleaned by professionals because of the immense health hazzard associated with such exercise. For starters, the Freetown city council has jurisdiction and malice of the elected Mayor by the national government is highly irresposible.
We will never know how many of our youths exposed to diseases by this irresonsible government,have contracted aids and other debilitating diseases because we do not track people.
This cleaning exercise is an attempt to get cheap political capital. It was a poorly conceived idea. Residential cleaning is OK but samba gutter, kroo bay and similar places with medical waste, hypodermic needles and other dangerous substances must be no go territories by non professionals. Also, the burning of the refuse in open air as instructed by the government exposed the youth to danger thereby negating the very essence of the cleanup exercise.
Why kill the youth in your bid to get their political support?
Reply with quote  #3 
You have taken a very popular and noble exercise and politicized it in an attempt to score a cheap point.  As a participant in the clean up exercise, I can tell you for sure that the public areas were taken care of by professionals of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.  Ordinary folks were instructed to clean their premises.

Cleanliness is next to godliness.  Under your useless APC Freetown had become the filthiest city in the world.  Do you wonder why Freetown was so vulnerable to floods and other natural disasters? 

Politicizing everything in Salone is not going to bring back your useless and hateful APC to power.  You guys are gone forever.  The epitaph on Tolongbo's tombstone reads:  GONE AND FORGOTTEN.   GOOD RIDDANCE.  

BTW inasmuch as Freetown is the seat of the national government, the national government also has jurisdiction over Freetown.  President Bio is not going to allow Tolongbo to dictate how Salone should be run.  So it behooves Tolongbo to put up or shut up.
Reply with quote  #4 
You seem to support the failure of the national government in respecting boundaries and having malice towards our elected mayor. The professional expertise in dealing with garbage clearance is in city council. Your nominated but unconfirmed ministers who supervised the cleaning exercise have no experience with garbage cleaning and the logistics associated with such massive cleaning. Had the right officials been consulted I am sure they would have warned about the nations capacity to conduct the exercise given the unavailability of adequate garbage trucks and the length of time such massive cleanup requires. The cleanup was rushed because of Bio's inauguration. I am sure that the city council would have cautioned the government about the proper precautions needed to clean certain infected areas if consulted. Pictures and videos on facebook are evidence that it was the youth rather than city council that cleaned samba gutter and kroo bay. What I think needs to be done after this big blunder is for the government to setup funds for the treatment of anyone who later complains of infection they believe arose because of cleaning one or more of the infected sites. The government should publicly acknowledge the mistake and make a pledge to provide free medical care.
Bra Enviable
Reply with quote  #5 
I wish AFK was imbued with enough patriotism  to communicate his "brilliant" ideas to the APC, during that party's ten-year rule. There comes a time when a sense of shame should restrain a clown, so that  the public could be spared his puke-prompting buffoonery.

What is wrong with a presidential initiative that calls for cleaning a post-Ebola society? Bra AFK, this forum has academics and other Sierra Leoneans, who are allergic to idiocy. I am one of them! Please spare me the meaninglessness in your anti-SLPP rants. Damn! 

Bra Enviable
Reply with quote  #6 
Bra Enviable, if you are truly a man of substance you should have countered my argument for all to see. Using invectives and showering praises on yourself as an academic does nothing to countervail my argument instead it draws attention to your shallowness.
I outlined what is wrong with the presidential initiative that calls for cleaning and I wonder why you ask the question again. Don't you read well? I seek the protection of our fellow Sierra Leoneans from initiatives, though well meaning, but when they are ill thought out may harm the very people they were intended to help. Now go read my contributions again and tell me what you think.
I may be APC but you will agree that not all APC stance are partisan stance. This one is in the interest of our country and for the people.
There has been a big blunder and free medical services should be provided to anyone who believes that they may have contracted disease from this cleaning exercise.  
Reply with quote  #7 

I hope you are not losing it.  You are the only one complaining about the cleaning exercises. If you are now requesting president Bio to provide medical services for the would-be ill, I wonder where you were when Ernest Koroma was stealing Ebola money as his countrymen and countrywomen perished due to lack of medical care.

Look, you cannot dampen the spirit of Sierra Leoneans who are exuberant about the direction their country is taking.  This is a very important week.  The Father of Democracy in Sierra Leone will be inaugurated on Saturday, his birthday.  The United States, Britain and many other high profile countries are sending high powered delegations to this event.  And you are there in the United States whining?

My advice to you is to cheer up.  I am assuming that you are in your sixties.  You may have seen the last APC government in power.  Sierra Leoneans have a burning hatred for your party due its history of violence, lack of respect for institutions and tribalism.
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #8 
We have a waste management crisis on our hands in the capital. There are models for sustainable long term solutions but that takes time, planning, financial resources, infrastructure, and so on. What do we do now “while Rome burns”?

In the rainy season, drainage structures used as dumps, will cause numerous problems. We need to act now!
Reply with quote  #9 
Now you are talking, Specky. 
Reply with quote  #10 

I think city cleaning is a municipal function full stop. A one off clean like this to get things going is one thing but mandating through an executive order, an ongoing monthly shutdown of economic and social functions is undemocratic. If this is to be any longer than a few months then government should bring legislation to parliament to that effect.

As Speck says, there are many models of cleaning. These should be explored. One option for instance is to give us diasporans the vote in exchange for a monthly diaspora leverage that can then use that to pay for cleaning. Freetown in particular needed this urgent clean but this approach is not a long term sustainable one.

Big Joe
Reply with quote  #11 
This is my take about the cleanup issue in Salone.  I think we should look at certain things on a case by case basis.  I support the president for issuing this cleanup directive.  I was embarrassed when I visited Salone two years ago with an American friend.  She broke up the diplomatic code by telling me how filthy Freetown was.  I had to take her to Bo where we spent the rest of our vacation.

Tolongbo never cared about the hygienic condition of Sierra Leone.  In fact everything was so politicized that accumulating filth was associated with acquiring votes for Tolongbo.  The street traders vote for Tolongbo and allowing them the freedom of throwing dirt everywhere was seen as an inducement to getting their votes.

Thus, if we now have a party and a government that operates in the interest of the health of the nation, who cares if the cleanup directive did not go through parliament?  America has declared war quite a few times without Congressional approval.

President Bio seems to be thinking far ahead of many Sierra Leoneans.  He wants to restore decency, sanitation, competitiveness and growth in Salone.  Let's give the guy our support.
Reply with quote  #12 
Would you want your children and your wife to clean samba gutter let alone without proper equipments? Let greengoes each provide answer to this question.
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #13 
Can someone show before and after photos of Samba Gutter? Where is it located in Freetown?
Dirty Colombo AFK
Reply with quote  #14 
I see you would rather have the mothers and kids to live in filth rather than clean it, especially for their health! Sanitation is everything Mr Tolongbo

You are a filthy dirty man AFK! I wouldn't step foot in your house even if they paid me to!!
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #15 
When a party that once governed is in opposition, in my opinion, it is not prudent to always criticize actions and policies of the government of the day. During the Ebola crisis, I noticed that JMB refrained from criticizing the EBK led government and infact met with EBK to discuss what role he could play. Later JMB played his part. I notice on FB Rev Kabs praised the cleaning effort. This doesn’t mean he supports Bio but he’s just being reasonable and I guess he figures it is the patriotic thing to do. If APC were wise, they would support the government when it makes sense to do so and of course criticize and offer alternative policies when necessary. Criticizing everything the government does is not smart politics but then again, perhaps, it is in Salone.
Julius Spencer
Reply with quote  #16 

Ministerial Order Number 1

I have four dogs and over time I have been able to observe their behaviour. One of them is a male hunting dog and it is bigger and stronger than all the others. It is also fearless and quite a bully. For a while now, we have had to put all of them on a leash when it’s feeding time, otherwise the big one, which we call Blacky, will quickly finish its own food and then chase the others away from theirs and gulp it all down. 

Blacky’s behaviour is typical of the animal world where might is right, and this was the same for the human world until men changed from being hunter gatherers and began settling in communities. Even then, stronger tribes or communities would attack weaker ones and take over their lands and properties. Fortunately, in today’s world, a system has been developed where laws regulate human behaviour. In order to ensure that the strong don’t ride roughshod over the weak, human rights laws have been developed that give every human being the same rights.

In the area of governance, we have moved from the period of kings and subjects to a period of restricted franchise when even women did not have the right to vote, to one of universal suffrage. We still have a variety of governance systems, but the most common these days is democracy which, although not perfect, is considered to be the best currently available. In a democracy, the rule of law is paramount and everyone is considered to be equal before the law. This is because there is a recognition that the basic human instinct of “might is right” needs to be controlled, otherwise there will be chaos in society.

Sierra Leone prides itself on being a democracy and in a ten year period, we have succeeded in changing governments twice through the ballot box. We therefore expect that government officials will respect the laws of the land and not do anything that will amount to a violation of these laws or an infringement on the fundamental rights of the citizens.

This brings me to the recent national cleaning day declared by our new president, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio. First of all, let me say that the intention is commendable and coupled with the other measures that have been put in place, demonstrates a desire to get things done quickly, something this country desperately needs. 

By all indications, the main objective of the cleaning day was met, because tons of garbage that had been hidden were brought out and even Samba Gutter now has a clean look. Incidentally, I believe I can take some credit for the start of cleaning days in Sierra Leone because I suggested the idea to the current president in 1992 when he was Lt. Bio and Secretary of State for Information and Culture.

I was, at the time, a lecturer at FBC and had started an annual drama festival. I had gone to see Lt. Bio to invite him to perform the official opening of the festival that year. We got talking about the chaotic manner in which cleaning was being done and I told him about the way it was done in Nigeria, with one Saturday a month designated as national cleaning day, having been there during the military rule of General Buhari. He seemed to like the idea and must have passed it on to his colleagues in the Supreme Council because not long after that conversation, a national cleaning day was instituted.

This cleaning day has been going on in some cities in the country since then, but was discontinued in Freetown at some point during President Koroma’s rule, because it had become more of a nuisance with huge piles of garbage deposited in the middle of the road in some parts of eastern Freetown.

Well, Bio is back and one of his first actions has been the reinstatement of the national cleaning day. While, like I said earlier, the intention is commendable, there are a number of issues that President Bio and his government need to take into account. In the first place, there is an issue of the rule of law. In 1992, there was a military government in place and the Constitution had been suspended, so the government ruled by decree.

In 2018, the situation is not the same, and the constitution is the Supreme law of the land. This is relevant because during cleaning days, restriction is placed on movement of citizens. Section 18 of the Constitution clearly prohibits this when it says.

"No person shall be deprived of his freedom of movement, and for the purpose of this section the said freedom means the right to move freely throughout Sierra Leone, the right to reside in any part of Sierra Leone, the right to enter or leave Sierra Leone, and immunity from expulsion from Sierra Leone."

The only time this right can be curtailed is when the country is in a state of emergency, which is why a State of Emergency had to be declared in order to restrict movement during the Ebola outbreak in 2014/15. We all accepted the imposition by Presidential Order number 1 because, I guess we all recognized the commendability of the intention to clean the city, but the magnanimity of Freetownians evaporated when Ministerial Order number 1 was pronounced. But I will come to that later. Let’s stay with Presidential Order number 1 for a while.

In addition to the constitutional issue of violation of the right to freedom of movement, there is also the gross unfairness in relation to those who always keep their environment clean. I use myself as an example and ask why I should be prevented from going about my business because someone somewhere has not kept their own environment clean? The inside of my house is clean, my compound is clean, the drainage in front of my house is clean, and even the street in front of my house is clean. I do not need a special day to clean my environment. I do it every day, and so do many, many other Freetown residents.

Anyway, we had all decided to go along and even though some of us had no cleaning to do during the national cleaning day, we stayed at home. We were all about to go about the rest of our day, just around midday when the cleaning was supposed to end when Dr. Dennis Sandi, Minister designate for Lands and the Environment, went on Radio Democracy FM98.1 and dropped a bombshell, issuing what he called ministerial order number 1, extending cleaning to 4pm because they had been unable to clear the mountains of garbage off the streets.

Predictably, people who had meetings, weddings, and other social activities had their lives turned upside down. Soldiers and policemen started chasing people off the streets and in some instances, people were forced to carry garbage. By the time other government officials got wind of what had happened and the Minister of Information went on air to announce that the time indicated in the Presidential order had not been changed, the damage had been done, and it was wide ranging.

This action by Dr. Dennis Sandi has serious implications that need to be given adequate attention. In the first place, the man is not even a minister yet, because his nomination has neither been approved by Parliament, nor has he taken the oath of office. In fact, he said on air that he was supposed to face Parliament that day but decided that the cleaning exercise was more important. I wonder how this will be viewed by Parliament.

Second, and perhaps more worrying is the reaction of military and police officers. It raises the question of process. How can someone who has no legal status as a government official and is not part of the command structure of either the police or the military issue instructions to members of these forces and they seem to fall over each other to obey these instructions without referring to their superiors?

If however, they did refer to their superiors and the instructions of Dr. Sandi were endorsed, then the problem is even more serious. Are our police and military officers oblivious of the constitutional provisions in relation to human rights? I sincerely hope that those who obeyed what can only be regarded as an illegal order will be called to order.

I hope the experience of this first cleaning Saturday will cause the government to seriously rethink the strategy because the outcome was totally predictable. What needs to be done is empower the Freetown City Council currently led by a dynamic lady who unfortunately happens to be in the wrong party as far as I am concerned. In fact, it was quite strange that the City Council and the Mayor seemed to have been totally left out of the effort to clean the city, even though this is one of the council’s statutory responsibilities.

I have heard some people saying that the Mayor has not yet been sworn in, but that is really a lame excuse, since ministers who have not yet been approved by Parliament were involved in the exercise, including Mr. Ministerial Order.

By now it should be clear that periodic cleaning will not solve the problem of garbage in Freetown. A more sustainable system has to be put in place, so I suggest that the government brings the new Mayor and councillors on board and forget about political affiliation for now.

The citizens of Freetown expect this. And since we are now in the mood for issuing orders, please consider this to be Citizen Order number 1.
Reply with quote  #17 
Respect for the rule of law, respect for boundaries as provided by statutes, who gives orders to the police and the military, human rights and freedom of movement, rule by the people's constitution versus rule by military decrees 

The above are a few of the highlights of ' citizen order number 1.' in the contribution of the forum contributor, Julius Spencer. Maybe, when these ideas are coming from an SLPP member  they will be taken more seriously.
I will add that government should consider providing free medical assistance to anyone who claims they got ill because of cleaning samba gutter. I don't think my suggestion is a bad idea. On the contrary, I am advocating for the welfare of Sierra Leoneans who heed the call to clean Freetown. 

Julius Spencer's contribution is a good read and I hope it will refocus members of the Bintumani forum on what is truly of national priority for peace and development. Respect for the constitution and especially of the rule of law is vital as we forge ahead in our fragile democracy. We should refrain from the frame of mind that espouses revenge in providing justifications for actions that are unconstitutional and blatantly wrong. 

There are a few legal issues to come that will be tests on how we manage our democracy. The issues include Sylvia Blyden's legal challenge of the elections result and a challenge of the legitimacy of Dr. Abbas Bundu as speaker of the house. We shall see if the judiciary will be independent in its deliberations and free from executive influence.
Reply with quote  #18 
Great piece by Dr Spencer. Those of us that believe in the SLPP traditions and overall philosophy need to be a critical friend to this government, ready to call them out when required, otherwise this will turn out to be yet another false dawn. Some of us are getting on a bit now, I don't think we can wait you another cycle of SLPP followed by APC, then SLPP again before we see real change.
Sour Grapes
Reply with quote  #19 
Julius Spencer is not SLPP.  He is NGC hence the sour grapes.  The cleanup exercise will continue.  It is very popular with the people.  Power emanates with the people.  Those who don't like the cleanup exercises are free to sue.  Constitution my foot!!!
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #20 
Spencer’s piece provides food for thought but sometimes desperate times calls for desperate measures. Hopefully the government will learn from mistakes as they move forward.

Spencer apparently was close to the NPRC guys when they just came to power. I recall when JOB outlined on the defunct NUP forum about the PR role Spencer purportedly played for NPRC in the early days. The doctor went ballistic. Even Zainab Bangura intervened and appealed to JOB to “talk af lef af”.
Bra Mayima
Reply with quote  #21 
"Hopefully the government will learn from mistakes as they move forward."  Spectator 007


Are you suggesting that the cleanup exercises were a mistake by the government?  Why do folks living overseas always look at the glass half empty instead of half full?   Folks in Salone are all for the cleanup.  What's the problem with you guys?
Reply with quote  #22 
"...What needs to be done is empower the Freetown City Council (FCC) currently led by a dynamic lady who unfortunately happens to be in the wrong party as far as I am concerned. In fact, it was quite strange that the City Council and the Mayor seemed to have been totally left out of the effort to clean the city, even though this is one of the council’s statutory responsibilities..." Julius Spencer

How long has Freetown been so filthily dirty? with Samba gutter, and Kroo Bay in tow?

Three weeks? Three years? Or almost 30 or more years? I choose the last duration, in all honesty. 

Where has the FCC been all this time without assuming this responsibility?

When I was attending RSMS across from Connaught Hospital, Sanitary Trucks were available for the sanitation purposes of the City, and the City was relatively clean. So! who removed this responsibility from the FCC? The APC-led GoSL for ten years, or the previous SLPP-led GoSL for the period of their tenure? Could the negligence be blamed on the Arkartas who were defeated about a month ago?

The Rwandans residing in Kigali take pride in living in cleanliness, not filth. So they volunteer to keep their environment clean. Must we not follow their example, even though it is NOT constitutionally mandated in the governance structure they practice.

If Mr. Spencer is the initiator of this idea during the 90's, and it was implemented during that time to everyone's satisfaction, why is he complaining now that he is an NGCian? The National Constitution does not state that it is wrong for a responsible GoSL to seek the voluntary help of folks to be good citizens in cleaning the filth in the City where they reside. Does it? 

Based on the history of the erstwhile APC-led GoSL, I wonder why the FCC was NOT empowered to fulfill the function they were supposed to serve? The last SLPP-led GoSL served this function quite well. Samba gutter, and such places come into existence mainly when the Akartas are "governing". I wonder why?

"...I have heard some people saying that the Mayor has not yet been sworn in, but that is really a lame excuse, since ministers who have not yet been approved by Parliament were involved in the exercise, including Mr. Ministerial Order..." J.S.

How many Mayors have served the FCC during APC-rule? How come they were not empowered to serve the sanitation function by EBK and Co.? And what did Mr. Spencer say about this malfeasance at that time?

"...By now it should be clear that periodic cleaning will not solve the problem of garbage in Freetown. A more sustainable system has to be put in place, so I suggest that the government brings the new Mayor and Councillors on board and forget about political affiliation for now..." J. S.

I guess Mr. Spencer would like for the citizens in the affected areas to perpetually live in filth, perhaps that is why he is now complaining about an idea, and a process that he initiated through Maada Bio, forgetting that as SLPPians, we solve prevailing problems as assiduously as possible.

@AFK: The good citizens who participated in this cleaning exercise NEVER complained to anyone, but took the directive in stride for their own benefit ultimately. Do you not know that the precise reason these folks volunteered to clean their nasty dirty environment is to preclude them from being sick? How could you cast aspersions on this exercise? Just for the sake of it?

Have you guys heard of a Benevolent "Dictator"?

Well unu for falla the directives of the "Dictator" for the benefit of the Masses. If not, unu sorry oh!
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #23 
Bra Mayima, I support the cleanup exercise and didn’t expect it to be glitch free. Did you?

Spencer offered constructive criticism. It was not mean spirited. I understand that Bio has been open to ideas about improving how the cleanup should be conducted. JMB is pragmatic so far.

My preference is for sustainable waste management solutions but short term, something had to be done. Moving forward whatever mistakes were made will be fixed.

Bra Mayima, do you want to be JMB’s spokesman here? That post is currently occupied.😆

Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #24 
Can some please post the before cleanup and after cleanup photos of Samba Gutter? I had made this request before.
Reply with quote  #25 
Please go to this website to see what you are looking for, Spectator 007:
Reply with quote  #26 
Brother Sengbe, the problem with a benevolent dictator is that sooner or later they develop a messiah complex where they start to believe that 'only I can save my people'.

The cleaning exercise went well and it was a good start but lets remember that the government ordered all citizens not involved in the cleaning to stay in their homes or be arrested. This is the difficult aspect of the cleaning. As a one off or in an emergency it is acceptable but we need to be careful when giving the government of the day carte blanche to take away our rights without due process because as we saw, there is always the risk it will be abused.
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #27 
@Sengbe, link didn’t work. I had seen the photos but can’t copy and paste here. Something seems wrong with my iPhone.

Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #28 
Check this video on the cleanest city in Africa

Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #29 
Can trash be burned and converted to energy, produce bricks...?

Reply with quote  #30 
Can trash be converted into energy?

Marcia's answer (8-years ago); culled from the Internet:

Trash can be burned and the fire generated in the burning process can be used in a number of different ways to produce energy. Of course, fires tend to generate smoke and when that smoke is released into the air, it is then called air pollution and/or smog. Trash is typically burnt in a device called an incinerator at a very high temperature for more complete burning/combustion. (The "darkeness" in the smoke you see from a fire is from small pieces of the material being released into the air rather than fully burned.) Incinerators can be fitted with filters and scrubbers to help keep the smoke stack emissions down. But, this brings us to the issue of the materials being thrown in the garbage versus those being burned. It is pretty darned important that nothing being burned is explosive; no sneaking those paint cans, cleaning rags, etc... into the trash/dumpster. Even wood, natural fiber clothing, and kitchen scraps can result in toxic ashes once burned. But, so much of our trash is comprised of plastics, petrol-based synthetics, and other less than nice substances. When reduced and even chemically changed during the burning process, what is left over in terms of ashes can be extreamly, extreamly toxic in a concentrated form. Remember those emissions? They too can be toxic even though the particles may not be so dense as to be seen.

Many new and old landfills have a large quanity of materials decomposing in them. There is so much decomposition going on that methane is built up under ground and even over the surface of the ground. Methane is one of the components that makes rotting garbage "stink". Of course, methane gas is explosive too so, many landfills are outfitted with a series of pipes that gather the methane then simply burn it in a controlled manner so that it doesn't explode. These methane burning systems could be piped/plumbed so that they generate electrical power, operate boiler systems, or more. - It is sort of like burning downed trees in a field for the purpose of generating a controlled burn versus in a fireplace for the purpose of actually heating a house.

Certainly yard and food waste can be composted into varying grades of mulch and compost. When this is done and the compost or mulch is then used/re-used to make worm and plant happy soil, you have another way in which trash'/garbage can be converted into energy. Of course, this is food energy for the soil, the worms, the plants, and possibly for people when it is used to generate food crops. In the composting process, methane is generated. If the compost heap/process is large enough the methane generated could be used to power different types of additional processes too. This works best when organically grown yard and food waste is used because a number of the agricultural and horticultural chemicals don't simply go away in the composting process. Rather, they tend to end up resent at a more concentrated level.
Marcia · 8 years ago
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