…DFID, WASH Consortium boost Calaba Town community
June 13, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), through the Freetown WASH Consortium, has provided and commissioned reliable and safe drinking water facilities to Calaba Town community.
Calaba Town, which is one of the densely populated communities in the east of Freetown, benefited from two borehole wells and one water kiosk, plus solar powered wells.
Giving overview of the project, Jefferiena John, a WASH Consortium Engineer, said the commissioning of the facilities marked the successful completion of the ‘Dry Season Plan project’.
She said under the UK Aid funded ‘Dry Season Water Plan project’, a total of 40 boreholes comprising 20 brand new and 20 rehabilitated, will be provided to communities in Freetown.
“The boreholes, which will provide over 100,000 people with safe drinking water, have been constructed by the Freetown WASH Consortium with over one million Pounds Sterling (£1m) from UK Aid. This work is central to the government’s Dry Season Plan, which was aimed at ending the severe seasonal water shortages that affect Freetown every year,” she said.
DFID’s Sally Taylor said the people of United Kingdom (UK) have been helping many communities in Sierra Leone, adding that part of their work was to ensure access to clean and safe drinking water in the country.
“The UK government strongly supports the government of Sierra Leone to improve people’s lives, because we want to see a fast and progressing Sierra Leone,” she said.
She said the sustainability of the facilities depends on how they are handled by the beneficiaries.
Minister of Water Resources, Momodu Maligi, said his ministry faces its biggest challenges during the past dry season, adding that because of those challenges, government called on donor partners to draw a plan in order to help salvage them.
“The problem of water is not caused by us but we should be in a position to address it. We wanted to provide water to every household but we ended up providing within areas that are much closed to people’s houses,” he said.
He warned people to take great care of the facilities and also provide security for them, noting that, if the solar panels and batteries are stolen, government and its donor partners will not replace them, hence the youth must be watchful at all times.
He said people should pay a minimal sum of money in order to maintenance the facilities whenever there is a breakdown.
Head of Guma Valley Water Company, Bankole Mansaray, observed that water is life and it must be handled properly.
“We have made lots of efforts to bring water to communities in Freetown. In addition to our conventional way of providing water, which is pumps, we have now provided borehole wells, water tanks for people to easily access water,” he said, adding that his institution would be monitoring the facilities.
Representing beneficiaries of the community, Fatmata Samura, said they used to face serious constrains in accessing water in the community, added that their children were always late to school because of water scarcity.
“We used to access water from swamps which was not pure and that was causing diseases like cholera and diarrhea. Underage girls were impregnated in the quest of searching for water,” she explained.
She expressed appreciation to DFID, Freetown WASH Consortium, and the Ministry of Water Resources for taking such facilities to them.