Sierra Leone Adopts Incinerators to Combat Animal Waste: But at What Cost?


Sierra Leone grapples with extensive wildlife populations and inadequate waste management infrastructure, leading to overflowing waste and environmental concerns. To tackle this, the government has embarked on a pilot project to combat animal waste with the installation of incinerators in Freetown.

Incinerator Installation:

Two large-scale incinerators with a capacity of 300 kilogram per hour have been installed at four major markets in Freetown. The incinerators utilize biomass and animal waste to generate heat, with the ash byproduct converted into reusable fertilizer.

Potential Benefits:

  • Reduction of waste volume through combustion.
  • Mitigation of disease risks associated with animal waste.
  • Generation of renewable energy and fertilizer.
  • Improved air quality through reduction of methane emissions.

Cost and Sustainability:

With a total cost of $900,000, the pilot project is financed through government funds and international aid. While cost-effective in the short term, the long-term sustainability of the project remains uncertain.

  • Operating and maintenance costs must be considered.
  • Regular fuel supply and ash management are necessary.
  • Public awareness and waste segregation programs need to be established for optimal efficacy.

Key Concerns:

  • Health and Environmental Impacts: Incineration releases air pollutants, raising concerns about their impact on public health and the environment.
  • Job Losses: Traditional waste collectors and recyclers may face job losses with the introduction of incinerators.
  • Community Acceptance: Local communities may resist the project due to odor and air pollution concerns.


1. What are the primary sources of animal waste in Freetown?

Animal waste primarily comes from butcheries, slaughterhouses, and market stalls.

2. How does the incinerator technology work?

The incinerators utilize biomass and animal waste to generate heat, which is used to burn the waste.

3. What are the environmental benefits of the project?

Incineration reduces methane emissions and produces fertilizer from ash, promoting soil fertility.

4. What is the cost of operating and maintaining the incinerators?

The estimated annual cost is approximately $150,000, covering fuel, maintenance, and labor.

5. What are the potential job implications of this project?

While some jobs may be lost in traditional waste collection, new opportunities could arise in operation and maintenance of the incinerators.


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