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Committee on Water Resources engages water sector

December 9, 2019

By Jariatu S. Bangura

The Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources on Friday engaged senior officials from the Ministry of Water Resources, Guma Valley and the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) to address issues bordering the water sector across the country.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Lahai Marah, said they wanted to know the present status in achieving the president’s dream on reviving the water sector.

He informed the minister that his committee will be meeting with development partners that have been supporting the sector.

He said the committee would want to know how far the emergency recovering and institutional capacity building project undertaken by the ministry has gone.

He said they also wanted to know the status of the projects implemented by SALWACO,including the three towns water supply project , 100 solar bore holes, rural water supply and the construction of 45 industrial bore holes, water supply in200 schools and provision of water supply in the beaches..

He said there were added projects to the Guma Valley Water Company including the Freetown water supply rehabilitation project, Freetown water sector reform, Freetown Emergency Recovery project and  supply, and the Freetown wash and aquatic bank project, among others.

He said there are also a lot of complaints regarding the frequent shortage of water in the Freetown Municipality.

Minister of Water Resources, Philip K. Lansana said it is their desire that the Guma Valley Water Company be under the supervision of the ministry as they were about to conclude the process with the National Commission for Privatization (NCP).

He said series of meetings have been held and that the Deputy Minister of Justice was working on it.

“A follow up will be done as water is dire to us and we want to make sure that Guma Valley be under the ministry. We are happy that you want to meet with development partners as the involvement of everybody is good and will be of help,” he said.

With the three towns water supply project, he said 75 % of work has been done with 100 % infrastructural completed, adding that they still have work to do but that they were making sure that payments were done  by the Ministry of Finance in order for additional work plans to be completed in due course.

He said for the 100 bore holes project, 80 bore holes have been drilled but technically there are other activities that were yet to be done and that they were working on them to ascertain the actual figure of what has been excavated.

He said for the additional 200 bores holes project, they have developed a contract that was yet to be signed.

He said they wanted  to ensure as a ministry that they will only give support and monitor the agencies that will carry out the projects and contract rather than being implementers in order for them be more accountable.

He said they want to optimize the system that supply the water as more fuel has been used with a minimal result is attained.

He said they wanted to have a tracking mechanism of every project to have detailed reports.

Deputy Director General for Guma Valley Water Company, Ing. Francis Lahai said the first challenge they were faced with for this year was to address the issue of supplying water and availability at wellington.

He said they also have global water ration to control the supply of water to selected areas 8hours a day.

He said the Freetown Wash Aquatic project is an African Development Bank support project together with Netherlands amounting $3.5m, adding that they have achieved about 30% implementation.

He expressed hope that the contractor will start work next year in mid -February.

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