The Freetown development plan

The city centre of Freetown with the emblematic Cotton TreeThe city centre of Freetown with the emblematic Cotton Tree

The Freetown Development Plan  arises from the basic assumption that it is not possible to manage one individual urban development sector (for instance, roads and transportation or solid waste and wastewater collection or disposal and treatment, water supply, sanitation, housing etc.) without affecting other ones, since all the urban issues are closely interrelated. A pre-identification study for the Freetown Development Plan was funded by the EU in 2008. Following this study, a Freetown Development Plan process was launched to provide the Sierra Leone's capital city, Freetown, with a comprehensive and holistic urban development framework, namely an urban development plan. The approach adopted has been to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Freetown City Council and authorities involved in urban planning and, at the same time, to identify ‘Quick Wins’, solutions that will have immediate beneficial impact in Freetown, particularly on the deprived communities.

Presently, the EU support to the Freetown Development Plan include the following actions:

  • An institutional strengthening project to assist with the capacity building of the Freetown City Council and the Ministry of Lands which has 4 components: (1) Setting up of a GIS for Knowledge Mapping Analysis of the urban and non urban area;  (2) Capacity building of the institutions at central level on urban planning and review of the urban planning legislative framework;  (3) Capacity building of municipal officers on sector issues concerned by urban planning;  (4) Supervision of the EC funded urban construction works (urban roads rehabilitation and risk mitigation project).
  • The Urban Roads Rehabilitation Project is one of the 'Quick-Wins' proposed by the pre-identification study. A list of Freetown urban roads has been selected and the feasibility studies carried out: Kissy Road and Tower Clock Junction , Fourah Bay Road, Rue de la Paix (From Regent Road junction-IMATT to Fourah Bay College), Congo Cross - Wilkinson Road and Lumley Beach Road. Works are expected to start in early 2011.
  • The Risk Mitigation Project is the other proposed 'Quick Win' action and consists of infrastructure actions, in areas exposed to hydro-geological and health risks, aiming at protection against flooding and landslide, improvement of pedestrian accessibility and improvement of human and solid waste services. In conjunction with the FCC, three locations have been selected and the feasibility studies carried out: Kroo Bay (coastal site: flooding problem); Tengbeh Town (riverine site: access problem); Moyiba (hillside site; landslide problem). One of the main interventions identified in this study is the Kroo-Bay resettlement and flooding protection works (linked to the future Coastal road). Works in all these areas are planned to start in 2011.
  • The Peri and Urban Community Action for Food Security Programme is integrated with ongoing health and WATSAN programmes in urban slums, and aiming at enhancing food security and development opportunities for disadvantaged groups in Freetown and increasing availability and accessibility of nutritious food for urban poor and improve environmental management in Freetown through technological organizational and institutional in urban agriculture. The implementing partners of this programme are the NGO COOPI and CONCERN and the World Food Program.
  • The Conservation of the Western Peninsula Forest Reserve and its Watersheds project intends to introduce participatory processes in decision making on the sustainable use of natural resources to reduce rural poverty in the Western Area Peninsula and to conserve and manage sustainably the Sierra Leonean Western Area Peninsula Forest Reserve (WAPFR) and its Watersheds for the benefit of the adjacent population, particularly the poor. The implementing partner of this programme is the NGO Welthungerhilfe.

The view of Freetown with the Peninsula Mountains at the back.

The Western Peninsula Forest Reserve

(All the pictures are done by Nazia Parvez, 2008. )