Cleanest Zone Rules

Rules of the Cleanest Zone Competition

The detailed criteria and marking system can be found on the Assessment Criteria page.  

The rules for the competition have been carefully designed to ensure that all communities have an equal chance of winning the prize.  Some areas of Freetown are of course already cleaner than others.  The competition therefore rewards the greatest improvement in cleanliness in each zone, measured against a baseline assessment which was undertaken by the Council’s team of assessors in November 2018.

The baseline status and the improvement against baseline will be measured by reference to clear and publicly available criteria, which are themselves designed to make sure that communities’ efforts are targeted to the most important sanitation issues, and that communities are encouraged to make sustainable and permanent changes.

In headline terms, the rules are designed to:


Ensure that communities’ efforts at increasing cleanliness include clearing waste and silt from drains and gutters, to ensure that flooding risk is reduced. Less flooding means less risk to life, and to jobs and homes.  Freely flowing drains also greatly reduce the risk of malaria and cholera by reducing standing water.


Ensure that communities’ efforts at increasing the beautification of their zone include planting trees and vegetation (in particular flowers and/or carpet grass) which protect against silt being washed away, thereby decreasing the risk of landslides and flooding.


Ensure that communities’ efforts to win the Cleanest Zone Competition are sustainable. 30% of the marks are available for communities which ensure that they have implemented arrangements to have their waste properly collected and properly disposed of.  We are also rewarding waste separation at source (plastics separate from other waste), because FCC is seeking to support waste recycling initiatives, and separation of waste by householders and businesses is key to the success of such businesses.


Communities should also note that if anyone is caught illegally dumping either liquid or solid waste, their entire zone will be immediately disqualified from the competition.

The improvements in each zone will be measured by teams of independent assessors, who will make one baseline assessment visit to each zone, one secret visit to each zone, and one final visit.  The winners will be determined by a judges’ panel.

Communities’ efforts in each zone should be co-ordinated through the Disaster Management Committees, Ward Development Committees and through the councillor for the relevant ward.

The Freetown City Council looks forward to working with everyone in Freetown to make our city a cleaner and safer place.



The zones are those defined by the National Electoral Commission and used to locate polling booths at election times.  If you do not know your zone, Please check on our website for the rules of the competition, the map and our list of wards and zones, with key boundaries and landmarks identified. If you are still unsure, please ask your ward councillor.

  1. The criteria for winning and the marking system are as set out below. To ensure fairness, the following system will be adopted for the first competition:
    1. A baseline assessment of all zones will be conducted by the assessment team in November 2018, by reference to the Cleanliness and Beautification criteria.
    2. For the first competition, a final formal assessment, which will be notified to the Development Committee and the Disaster Management Committee in advance, will be carried out in February/March 2019.  The final assessment will be by reference to the Cleanliness, Beautification, Sustainability and Innovation criteria.
  2. For subsequent assessments:
    1. The final formal assessment from the previous competition will be used as the baseline.
    2. A secret assessment will be carried out at approximately the mid-point of the competition, by reference to the Cleanliness and Beautification criteria.
    3. A final formal assessment, which will be notified to the Ward Development Committee and Disaster Management Committee for the ward in advance, just before the results of that round are announced. The final assessment will be by reference to the Cleanliness, Beautification and Sustainability criteria.
  3. The winning and runner-up zones will be the zones which have demonstrated the greatest improvement against the baseline, by reference to the criteria.
  4. The assessment team will consist of 30 teams of 3 people.
  5. The judging panel will use the assessments made by the assessment team against the criteria to determine the winning and runner-up zones. The judges’ decision is final.
  6. There will be one winning zone and four runner-up zones.
  7. First prize for the winning zone consists of:
    1. 10 solar-powered street lights.
    2. A water point which will be connected to the Guma system where possible.
    3. Scholarships to provide school supplies ( to 10 pupils, 5 for junior secondary and 5 for primary schools (3 girls and 2 boys)
    4. 250m) of road paving using recycled plastic outdoor paving tiles (for the inaugural competition only).
  8. The first two runner-up zones will receive water points and the final two runner-up zones will receive the scholarships.
  9. Communities can choose where in their zone the prizes will be installed, and which children receive scholarships. Decisions will be made by the community through the Ward Development Committees and the Disaster Management Committees working with key stakeholders. To ensure fairness, the community must apply the following rules when making these decisions:
    1. Water point and streetlights must be in an area which is near a school, hospital, health centre or market,
    2. Paved road must be in place which improves access to schools, hospital, health centre or market or which connects the community to a larger road.
    3. Water point, streetlights and paved road do not have to be in the same location or area as long as the choice of location complies with the above rules.
    4. Installation of the paved road will be by the community under the supervision of the manufacturers of the recycled outdoor paving tiles, in accordance with a community contract
    5. Scholarships must be awarded to financially disadvantaged pupils with proven academic potential
    6. There must be no political basis in the decision-making.

BE WARNED:  any person caught illegally dumping solid or liquid waste will automatically disqualify their entire zone from the competition