Tourism Minister Takes Lead in Cleaning Lumley Beach
One of the most outstanding ministers in President Bio’s led government of New Direction, Dr. Memunatu B. Pratt who happens to be the former Head of Department for Peace and Conflict Studies at FBC and now the current Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs was with her fellow Sierra Leoneans as a pace setter to clear the beach from seaweed and plastics that is destroying the beauty of the environment.
She is calling on all Sierra Leoneans to join hands in keeping the beaches and its environment clean and attractive, as she desperately works to give the tourism sector a new facelift to attract tourists from all over the world.
“Sierra Leone is blessed with natural beaches and lots of tourist attraction areas,” she said.
When speaking to ordinary people and the press at the beach the minister stated that her ministry has the responsibility to keep the beach and its environs clean being that these areas are of touristic attraction, adding that there are very big challenges facing the maintenance of a clean beach and this has to do with waste management. This is adversely affecting the beach, she stressed.
Dr. Pratt stated that the sad story is that when people from the east, west and central of Freetown throw away their garbage into the sea, these are brought to the beach by the waves and that most people use the rivers and waterways to empty their toilets, which also end up on the beach.
She said that as a government they have been doing their very best to ensure they do what is needed to be done when it comes to cleaning and making the beaches very attractive to tourists.
She continued that even though these are the challenges all over the world, there is the need to address this waste problem. Some 100 youths were called to join in that exercise as the ministry lacked the man power to clean the beaches and the resources to buy tools and pay workers.
She said that the main challenge is that of plastic bags and plastic containers that big factories and small scale industries are using to package their products ranging from drinks, water etc.
Dr. Pratt said that her ministry intends to meet with the Ministry of Trade and those big factories and small scale industries so that they will put modalities in place for them to help in the cleaning of such places, as there are policies all over the world that cover how they are supposed to pay for their waste and support waste management activities.
Another challenge she highlighted is the beach traders that are illegally selling around the beach areas without paying anything to the ministry or the tourist board and are not making any effort to clean the area in which they trade around the beach.
She continued that all those traders that are trading illegally, especially around the Family Kingdom area, should leave those places, as the ministry and the Member of Parliament of that constituency have provided for them a special place to do their business.
The minister encouraged all Sierra Leoneans to take care of their garbage as their attitude towards waste management could help in the improvement of tourism in the country.