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President Bio commissions Garbage Trucks, says it will support devolution of waste management

President Julius Maada Bio has commissioned 50 high-grade garbage trucks donated by the Russian Federation, saying it is consistent with government’s policy on waste management and full devolution to cities and councils.

“They must be fully responsible for the safe disposal of waste generated in their communities. To that effect, I expect that local governments will generate laws and enforceable policies to guide waste disposal. Public health inspectors should be able to enforce all such policies in the interest of public health and sanitation.

“In the New Direction manifesto, we identified waste management as a key threat to national development. We further reiterated in the Medium Term National Development Plan, Cluster 3.4, that haphazard, unsafe, and unstructured waste disposal have social, economic, and even health implications for citizens. Women, we argue, bear the greatest impact of poor waste management practices,” he said.

The President, however, noted that cities and towns must be supported with expertise and resources to establish safe waste disposal sites and systems that could be properly managed and improved at the local level.

He observed that recycling systems and separating stations that made garbage useful again and safe incinerators might be most useful in that regard, adding that the government was ready to work with local governments, development partners, and the private sector in providing these facilities.

“We look forward to a further deepening of our relationship with the Russian Federation especially after the Russia-Africa Economic Forum in Sochi, where we committed to promoting and enhancing trade and investments among our economies in Africa,” President Bio stated.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nabeela Tunis, said the day stood as another testimony to the excellent bilateral relations Sierra Leone and the Russian Federation continued to enjoy since it was established 58 years ago.

“We are here to witness the handing over of the first 50 of 200 Garbage Trucks promised to the Government of Sierra Leone by the Government of the Russian Federation. This gift is yet another gesture of the hand of friendship that the Russian Federation has extended to us over the past 6 decades.

”We acknowledge the role played by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Alie Kabba, who is the current Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations in New York, the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the Russian Federation and also the Minister of Local Government, Hon Tamba Lamina, for coordinating the receipt of this donation and all other partners he worked with to ensure their timely clearance from the port,” she said.

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Mohamed Yongawo, said the two countries had enjoyed long bilateral ties, noting that the donation was a result of the visit of President Bio to Russia during the Russia–Africa Summit.

Russian Ambassador to Guinea accredited to Sierra Leone, Vadim Razumozskiy, thanked President Bio for the many gains in managing the coronavirus, adding that it was a pleasure being in the country to hand over the 50 garbage trucks that he said were specially made to support the President.

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