He noted that solutions to the problem may be found in the private sector, by developing integrated waste-management systems, and by improving recycling practices.
The Minister of State stated that global production of municipal solid waste is expected to double in the next fifteen years primarily in the developing nations, driven by the combined effect of strong urban growth and economic development.
He entreated stakeholders to develop a comprehensive and holistic blue print addressing issues affecting waste management in the city and also encouraged them to come up with solutions and recommendations that would lead to an effective, operative and sustainable waste management in Freetown.
In her statement, Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister II, Madam Madina Rahman referred to waste management as those activities and actions required to managed waste from its inception to its final disposal.
She said waste management if handled properly has huge potential to turn problems into solutions and to lead the way towards sustainable development through the recovery and reuse of valuable resources.
The Deputy Health Minister maintained that hygiene and sanitation issues in the city and country as a whole have resulted in deadly outbreaks and continuously puts people’s health at risk as well as the fragile health systems under tremendous strain. She said to have sustainable waste management in an urban city as Freetown, requires collaboration at a heightened level to synergize the efforts to build sustainable structures and systems.
Madam Rahman informed her audience that waste is not something that should be discarded or disposed of with no regard for future use, noting that it can be a valuable resource if addressed correctly, through policy and practice.
Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Hadiru Kalokoh said waste management is one of the sources that contribute to climate change and one of those green house gases that a nation needs to reduce the emission that comes from the waste.
He furthered that as a ministry, they have the responsibility to ensure the protection of the environment and the well-being of the people.
Highlights of the ceremony include video segment on the overview of the city’s waste management problems.
The Symposium was funded by Wash Consortium, Dutch Government, US Embassy and Environmental Protection Agency.