Robert Brown, Deputy Chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council (WARD-C), has raised alarm over the severe shortage of dumpsites in the district, home to an estimated population of 600,000 to 700,000 people.

In an exclusive interview with Awoko Newspaper, Mr. Brown highlighted the critical situation where the entire district relies on just one dumpsite, situated in Waterloo, which he described as far from ideal. He stressed that such a scenario not only spoils the landscape but also poses significant health risks to the populace.

The Western Area Rural District, encompassing towns such as Newton, Benguema, Leicester, Tombo, and Regent, forms part of the Freetown Metropolitan Area and hosts a substantial portion of Sierra Leone’s population.

Mr. Brown outlined the challenges faced by the Council, including the struggle to secure adequate dumpsites despite the district being divided into four zones. Despite conducting surveys in various areas, efforts to obtain additional space from the Ministry of Lands have yet to bear fruit.

He appealed to the government and the Ministry of Lands to expedite the process of identifying suitable land for dumpsites, as the Council currently expends a significant portion of its budget on waste transportation.

Another challenge highlighted by Mr. Brown is the lack of comprehensive property data, impacting the Council’s ability to assess properties under its jurisdiction. However, initiatives led by the Budget Advocacy Network (BAN) and other partners aim to tackle this issue.

Regarding other pressing concerns in the district, Mr. Brown pointed out the insufficient supply of pure drinking water, with only 20% of residents receiving water from the GUMA company. Poor road infrastructure and unreliable power supply further compound the challenges faced by the community.

Despite these obstacles, Mr. Brown underscored the Council’s achievements in revenue generation, which has notably increased during their tenure. Investments have been made in constructing schools, markets, and expanding strategic roads across the district.

To sustain development efforts, Mr. Brown urged residents to pay property taxes through banking channels and cooperate with ongoing initiatives to compile comprehensive property data.

Mr. Brown appealed to both the central government and non-governmental organizations to support the Council in improving infrastructure and creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for the people of the Western Area Rural District.