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In 2015, the City of Madison and Kanifing, the Gambia, joined as sister cities in order to help each other achieve our many shared values, such as improving the health for our residents and being wise caretakers of our environment.

In February of this year, the City of Madison completed a gift to the Kanifing Municipality of 1,000 surplus collection carts to help our sister city improve their waste hauling. Along with the carts, the Streets Division provided spare wheels, lids, and a short video explaining how to assemble their new carts.

While all Madisonians enjoy the convenience and safety provided by modern trash hauling, residents in developing cities like Kanifing do not.

The Kanifing Municipality is home to over 380,000 people, making it the largest city in the Gambia, which also makes handling household wastes critically important for the health and safety of the city. While the wealthy residents can afford to purchase trashcans and hire private companies to haul the material away, other residents must improvise ways to contain their wastes, such as using old tires or barrels. When the improvised containers are full, they are often dumped into streets or piled next to homes. While Kanifing works to clean the dump sites when they materialize, sometimes they become heavily used before the municipality can respond, creating environmental and health hazards for the residents as the waste rots in an uncontrolled area near homes.

The gift of 1,000 collection carts will help the residents of Kanifing store their household wastes in a safe and sanitary way. Using the carts also will provide the Kanifing Municipality an opportunity to collect household materials faster and safer so they can be hauled away to a proper landfill site.

Regarding the collection cart gift, the Mayor of Kanifing, Talib Ahmed Bensouda, states, "On behalf of the Kanifing Municipal Council, I would like to express great relief and excitement from our council when we received the news of the 1,000 bins coming from our sister city in Madison."

Mayor Bensouda continues, "I also would like to express my profound gratitude to Mayor Soglin, Alder Samba Baldeh, the Common Council, the staff of the City of Madison, and to the Kanifing-Madison Sister City Committee for their swift response to my municipality’s waste management challenges. These bins will go a long way in improving public health in my municipality and will drastically improve sanitation. In some cases, these carts can potentially save the lives of vulnerable communities most prone to the exposures of the hazards that usually accompany waste. Kanifing faced a waste emergency and indeed Madison has come to the rescue. We will continue to pray for Madison’s prosperity and look forward to closer ties."

Mayor Paul Soglin said, "It is gratifying for the City of Madison to be able to assist our Sister City neighbors in Kanifing. The carts can make a huge difference in the lives of Kanifing residents, and I am pleased to join Alder Baldeh and our Streets Division in this incredible partnership. Over the years, we've had many exchanges with our sister cities, but this is truly unique and will change people's lives."

According to Bryan Johnson, the Madison’s Recycling Coordinator, "We are honored and humbled to help Kanifing make their community safer and healthier by donating them surplus collection carts."

The City of Madison would like to thank all of the individuals who helped coordinate this gift. Alder Samba Baldeh and Streets Superintendent Charlie Romines were instrumental in starting the process. Jerreh Kujabi, Kaba Bah, and Dr. Bernie Micke facilitated shipping the carts to Kanifing. Stephan Precourt of the City of Madison Media Team quickly and expertly produced the cart assembly video. And considerable thanks is due to the Streets Division employees who helped manage, organize, prepare, and load the carts – including Stephen Schultz, Troy Clifcorn, Kenny Granger, Ben Anderson, Josh Schafer, Chris Hutchins, Brian Hegge, Juan Mendez, Victor Gutierrez, Vicki O’Neil, Brent Achterberg, Graydon Lippit, Michael Seleskie, Jay Halverson, Jessie Ditsch, Paul Haugen, Brandon Weidemann, Peter LeMay, John Fields, and Matt Willey.

The City looks forward to continuing our partnership with Kanifing as we build healthy and thriving cities for our residents.


  • Katie Crawley, Mayor's Office, 608-266-4611
  • Charlie Romines, Streets Division, 608-266-4681
City Hall