Kamarainba lambasts gov’t over perennial water crisis


January 24, 2017 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

The 2018 presidential candidate for the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, has expressed grave concern over the perennial water crisis that the country has been grappling with over the years.

Mansaray blames the current government for that state of affairs, adding that they have failed to institute appropriate measures that would improve the supply of pipe borne water in the city and the country as a whole.

At the start of his second and final term in office, President Ernest Bai Koroma established the Ministry of Water Resources amidst high hopes of improving on an already impoverished sector.

But according to the firebrand ADP leader, little or no impact has been registered since the sector was rebranded in 2012, nine years after President Koroma was ascended power amidst euphoria of bringing about infrastructure development.

Mansaray accused President Koroma of having been compromised by selecting the youthful Momodu Maligie as Minister of Water Resources because, according to him, he lacks the initiative to boost the water sector.

“The ADP is disturbed by the consistent water shortage during the dry season in Sierra Leone. Our attention has been drawn to the heightened shortage of pipe-borne water supply within the municipality of Freetown, particularly areas at the hill top communities and the outskirts of the city,” he said.

The ADP leader said the absence of pipe-borne water supply at the presidential lodge was a clear demonstration of the government’s lack of care for the most valuable resource for human existence.

He noted that social needs of the people must be given ‘principal’ and ‘adequate’ attention and urgently addressed.

He said that government should have embraced more flexible solutions in dealing with the water crisis in the country by constructing water plants that would be used to harvest water and building public-private partnerships in the water sector.

He alleged that it was as a result of the incompetence of the Water Resources Minister that the situation has been aggravated, adding that the ministry should set standards, regulate, supervise and control use of all water in the country as one of its mandates.

He averred that cutting of pipes has also aggravated the situation, causing extreme wastage of inadequate water supplied by Guma Valley Water Company.

Last year, the capital city Freetown faced serious water crisis during the dry season, forcing a rather embarrassed Ministry of Water Resources to place water bowsers in hard hit areas.

Minister of Lands and Environment, Diana Konomani reportedly ordered houses that had been constructed along the water catchment areas to be demolished, although nothing has been done to that effect.

When asked last year on Radio Democracy, FM 98.1, about a possible solution to the perennial water crisis, Momodu Malagie could only invoke divine intervention.

Meanwhile, Mansaray told journalists at a presser held at his No. 13 Rawdon Street office yesterday that, Guma valley should partner with private operators to provide water service to communities that were outside its present distribution system as the city was rapidly expanding. He noted that the government should encourage private operators to fund, build, and maintain water services to people, especially those living in mountain communities where access to water is acute.

“The ramifications of the acute shortage of water are enormous and numerous. School children are always barred from going to school on time, all in the quest of fetching water from distant places before going to school,” he said.

He said the government has spent over US$300 million on water supply but there was yet no improvement in the sector.

He urged the government to take prudent measures in salvaging the plight of the people in that regard.