March 20, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Acting Managing Director of Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) has assured of his company’s determination and commitment to ensure increase in water supply across the city.
Maada Kpenge was speaking yesterday at the New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown during a public disclosure of the company’s Environmental and Social Management and Resettlement Action Plans for the implementation of the District Metering Area pilot project, which is being funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation under the country’s threshold program.
The project, which will be implemented at Kingtom and Aberdeen communities for a start, will ensure that water supply to those communities are modernized, more structured and accountable with the installation of valves and meters, as well as the building of twelve Kiosks.
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The public disclosure of the said plans is a requirement by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for affected people to know what will be provided by the company during the implementation of the project.
In his short statement, Mr. Kpenge said even though there was a huge gap between the demand for water and supply, they were hopeful of improving efficiency by increasing access, eliminating leakages and expanding the distribution systems under the DMA pilot project.
“We are also looking at increasing service quality by going for on premises connections, water kiosks and also increase service hours. We want to move away from flat rate for water bills to usage, which will minimize confusion. We are also going to pay more attention to water quality and sustainability issues because we want to account for any drop of water in terms of Leones, as much as possible to ensure that service quality is maintained,” he said.
He noted the project is part of the institutional strengthening program- a component of the Threshold program being funded by the MCC through the coordinating unit in Sierra Leone.
The Guman Valley boss noted that their determination and commitment was to be a data driven organization by monitoring the flow and pipeline pressure so that they can be able to ascertain problems which may arise.
“The lessons learnt in those two areas will gradually role out to the rest of the city. We will ensure that all project affected persons are identified and no livelihood is lost in the process.”
Representing the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Emmanuel During, stated that the institution was established by an act of parliament for the effective protection of the environment.
“All proponents who wish to undertake small or large scale activity that may have impact on the environment are required by law to undertake the EIA or ESMP studies,” he stated.
He said Guma Valley, being a law abiding institution wishing to undertake such a project, applied to the agency for an environmental impact assessment license.
He added that the studies have been completed, and that brought about the public disclosure as mandated by the agency.
Director of the Water Sector Reform Project under the MCC’s Threshold program, Ansumana Swaray, stated that the pilot project will help to increase access to water irrespective of the customer.
He said under the project, customers will pay some amount for safe and adequate, so that the company will have sufficient money to improve on service delivery to the rest of the city.
He added that the project will help to build eight (8) water kiosks at Kingtom and four (4) at Aberdeen and also feed the distribution systems in those communities.