April 12, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
The Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) has slammed the government of Ernest Bai Koroma for what it called a ‘deliberate neglect’ to supply pipe-borne water to residents in the capital, Freetown.
Chairman and Leader of ADP, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, yesterday told journalists at his party’s office on Rawdon Street that they were disturbed with the ongoing “acute water shortage in the country” which has led to many social problems.
“Our attention has been drawn to the heightened shortage of pipe-borne water supply within the municipality of Freetown and its outskirts. We believe the social needs of the people must be given principal deliberation and must urgently be addressed. Water is an essential and life commodity,” he said in a release.
The release adds that the ramifications of the water crisis were “enormous and numerous” as school children could not attend schools on time because of their quest to fetch water from long distances before going to school.
Mamusus Conteh, a resident of Tree Planting community in Freetown, told Concord Times she wakes up at 2 a.m. each day to fetch water, paying Le1, 000 per jerry can.
“We are deprived in this community. There is no pipe-borne water supply in this area. We fetch water in the nearby stream that is controlled by hooligans,” she said.
Water crisis in Freetown is not a novelty. Year in year out, during the dry season the public Guma Valley Water Company faces serious challenges supplying water to a city an estimated 1.6 plus inhabitants, according to recent provisional census report. The company has been criticised by members of the public for the epileptic water supply in the city.
But Public Relation Officer of GVWC, Joseph Musa, told Concord Times that the government alone cannot provide the quantum of money needed to salvage the water crisis in the country.
He blamed the current shortage of water supply to human activities, adding that people have been constructing houses close to water catchment areas, thus exposing it to direct sun light.
“GUMA cannot meet the demand of the people because the only dam that can survive during the dry season supplies about 75,000 liters per day which is not enough as the city is densely populated,” explained Musa.
He told our reporter that the company would be engaging donor partners to address the acute water shortage in Freetown.
President Ernest Bai Koroma, told Parliament during State Opening of Parliament in December 2014 that, “My government is vigorously seeking to address the challenges of Freetown water supply crisis and we are currently engaging our partners, including the Chinese government. A detailed feasibility study had been done on River Rokel to supply water to the city.
However, almost sixteen months later, any hope that the water crisis in the capital will abate looks pretty slim.