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“Ebola cannot be won without water”

…SALWACO Director

NOVEMBER 14, 2014  By Victoria Saffa

Director of Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) has said that the fight against the deadly Ebola virus cannot be won without sufficient water, especially in treatment centres.

Samuel Bangura was speaking at the 2015 budget hearings, where he proffered convincing reasons for government to provide SALWACO with adequate funds.

“If SALWACO is supported adequately the issue of water borne diseases will go away and the country has been struggling with cholera and other water borne diseases over the years because of the problem of providing clean and safe water for communities,” he said.

Bangura said the current Ebola outbreak is hinged on adequate water supply because without water very little will be achieved in combating the disease, noting that hospitals, including holding and treatment centres, need more water, and hence the water sector needs more support.

He called on officials of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and civil society to support SALWACO in its drive to provide more water to communities.

He reiterated that the water sector was in need of reform, to include changes in their mandate, structure and responsibilities to public sector institutions. “The broad rural sub-sector policy is to improve health and alleviate poverty of the rural population through improved access to adequate safe water,” the SALWACO Director said.

He explained that prior to the launch of the National Water and Sanitation Policy in 2011, the institutional framework of the sector was disjointed.

“In the past, water was viewed as an abundant free commodity and as such little attention was paid to the different uses and users. As a result of this and rapid disorderly urbanization, water was increasingly becoming scarce and of inferior quality. With little coordination amongst stakeholders water resources were being used in a non-optional and unsustainable manner,” he concluded.

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