Yesterday, Wednesday 16th September, Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown City Council (FCC) and Chairman Kasho J Holland Cole Western Area District Council (WARD-C) officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding to agree to work together in specified areas of urban planning and development, and service delivery.
The signing took place at the WARD-C conference hall at Waterloo in the presence of several senior members of staff of both Councils including chief administrator of Freetown City Council, Festus Kallay and Esther Sesay of the Fiscal Decentralisation Division.
Over the last 20 years, the ability of both Councils to deliver services and to develop implementable policies that address issues such as urban sprawl and building in areas prone to disaster has been limited. The Councils’ decision to partner and collaborate is in preparation to deliver on the World Bank-funded project – Resilient Urban Sierra Leone – that is being implemented to respond to the urgent need to tackle the impact of rapid urbanization in the Western Area Peninsula.
The MoU outlines that both Councils will work with central government to harmonize policies, develop integrated strategies and make better use of resources to tackle issues in seven areas related to urban planning;
- Land Use Planning & Development Control
- Housing and Relocation
- Waste management, recycling and landfill site management
- Environmental protection
- Disaster preparedness
The Councils have also agreed to collaborate in the sharing of resources that strengthen the capacity and enhance skills of the staff of both Councils.
As host, Chairman Cole welcomed the delegation from FCC, and thanked his sister council for collaborating to achieve such commendable goals. In response, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr emphasized that the signing of the MoU is a major step in the continued partnership between the sister council, which both councils have been building for some time now.
Both Councils have already started working on identifying and operating of a new landfill site for waste disposal for the entire Western Area Peninsula. Both Councils are also working on delivering affordable housing and implementing consistent land use polices. The Councils’ ability to regulate development will be further enhanced as the issuing of Building Permits is devolved to local councils from the Ministry of Lands.