When Isabel was over in Hastings SL at the end of February, she attended a meeting of our partner schools’ pupils councils, where the main item on the agenda was the Zero Waste project that schools in both towns are working on. Here are Isabel’s notes from that meeting.
IPC Edest Academy, Bush House Drive, Jui, 4th March 2019. 11.45 – 1pm
- Introduction of our council kids
- The stewardship of children in raising the awareness of Zero Waste
- 5 reasons to focus on 4-14 years
- our village headman having his say towards Zero Waste, and his input as a headman
- Discussion around recycling projects in schools
- Raise awareness of 3 Rs (Reduces, Re-use, Recycle)
- The Justification of Zero Waste
- Plastic Culture for Jui
- Isabel having her say
- Edest School Green Club.
The following schools were represented.
Huntingdon Secondary Jui; Huntingdon Secondary, Allentown; Gateway; Crimsen; REC Hastings; Jui Lower; St Mulumba; Jui Upper; Model Baptist; Edest.
The agenda did not go in the order as stated.
It took some time to introduce all the students.
Joe James from Edest showed their bins and their classroom resources. The teachers from other schools had their say, promoting a clean environment.
I explained some of the projects that we had started in Hastings UK. I also included the re-use of drinking bottles and plastic shopping bags.
Some schools belong to The Green Club and have big garbage bins in their compound. Edest, Jui Lower and Huntingdon Jui from our cluster. https://aalasesay.wixsite.com/slsgc
Their motto is ‘Health is Wealth’. They collect garbage from schools when it cannot be re-used in school. They encourage manure making, using paper for decorations, and educating children, parents and the community.
There is a National Initiative in Sierra Leone called ‘Clean Up Saturday’. This takes place once a month, and on that day no traffic is allowed until 12 noon anywhere in the country. People are expected to stay at home, clean up their houses and gardens (they call them compounds), and clean up their community. If you walk out you need to be carrying a garbage bag to show you are collecting rubbish. This is partially successful so far. Some areas look cleaner than others. Some people clean their street one day, and then dump rubbish in it the next! There is lots more work to be done, but it’s a start.
Ideas from students included
Jui Upper – aiming for a clean environment using garbage bins in every classroom. (I saw these in almost all the schools I visited)
Huntingdon Jui – reduce our garbage, sell plastic, use money for our education, sensitise our students and teachers. Teach our parents at home to be more aware of waste and waste disposal.
Huntingdon Allentown – use plastics for plant containers, re-use bottles for squash or tea, make floaters for fishing, toys for babies
Edest – have a ‘dump’ for their garbage, they aim to motivate the community, set and example, and introduce a marching song.
The Headman’s meeting following the IPC
The Deputy Headman of Jui was the representative and was actually a woman, Saio Conteh.(There is always one man and one woman, and one is a Christian and the other a Mulsim.) The secretary (Rashid Bimba) did all the talking!
There is a great community spirit in Jui. The schools work together alongside the community. There are going to be special events to promote Zero Waste. These include a sports event, including the elderly playing football, where the entrance fee will be a bag of garbage plastic. There will be other attractions and small token rewards for the most garbage collected.
There will be an outing for Huntingdon and a competition between JSS and SSS and girls and boys to see who can collect the most garbage before, during and after the outing.
They plan to have a Jui Community dump for disposal of plastic waste, which can be sold to support the community. They already have a garbage collection around the Jui area.
They are hoping to get the Chinese involved in helping with the digging of the dump.
Isabel Hodger, 17th March 2019