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Water Minister says 56% of Freetown residents access pipe-borne water

By Patrick J. Kamara

Minister of Water Resources has told a news conference in Freetown that 24 communities in Freetown and major towns across the country are set to benefit from pipe-borne water supply.

Mr. Momodu Maligie was speaking during the official government press briefing at the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications at Youyi building, Freetown, yesterday.

The minister said that since the creation of the Water Resources Ministry in 2012, water crisis has lessened with the availability of clean drinking water to residents in the Western Area estimated at 56%, while 33% of people in the provinces have access to pipe-borne water supply.

The estimate though cannot be independently verified due to credible data as to the number of households who can access clean and safe drinking water in the capital and provincial towns.

He revealed that the Guma Valley dam was constructed to serve approximately six to seven hundred thousand people, but because the city’s population has ballooned to over two million people, such was creating huge challenges for the new ministry, especially in efficient resource utilisation.

He maintained that the aging dam supplies seventy-six thousand cubic metres per day (18 million gallons). He said that the African Development Bank (ABD) last year provided support to rural water sanitation project, and the ministry has completed pipe-borne water supply projects in a host of provincial towns.

“From last year to now we have been able to complete Kailahun, Pujehun, Lunsar, Mile 91, Yonibana area, Lungi, and 24 communities between Hasting and Masiaka which had never had pipe-borne water supply and that particular project is still on-going,” said the Water Resources minister, adding that similar projects are underway in Kabala and Bonthe respectively.

He said that because of the population implosion in the city, a new dam has been constructed at the Rokel River that will supply more than half of the population which currently relies on Guma Valley for water supply, as well as Masiaka, the new airport at Mamamah, and thus lessen the burden on the only dam in the Western Area.