July 21, 2017 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Members of Parliament yesterday unanimously ratified the Three Towns Water Supply supplementary protocol agreement project amounting to one million United States Dollars ($1,000,000) between the government of Sierra Leone ,the African Development Bank (ADB), and the African Development Fund.
Presenting the agreement to lawmakers for ratification, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Alhaji Foday B.L Mansaray, recalled that the ADB has co-financed the original Three Towns Water Supply and Sanitation project, together with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
He said despite the early setbacks, especially due to the outbreak of the Ebola, the project was successfully completed, adding that irrespective of the attainment of about 184km of distribution network, there were still large areas of the three cities that were not covered by the distribution system.
He stated that the objectives of the supplementary grants was to improve access to safe water supply services in the cities of Bo, Kenema and Makeni, through rebuilding of the existing infrastructure and improving sanitation in schools, health centres and other public places like markets and motor parks; to enhance the institutional capacity.
He noted that the resources from the grants are meant to extend the network of water connections in the three cities and would target additional households as well create opportunities for employment for an estimated one hundred and twenty (120) youth that have already been trained as plumbers, noting that refresher training would also be provided to sharpen their skills.
Mr. Mansaray said the resources would also be utilised to facilitate improvement of vocational skills and support youth groups in setting up small businesses geared towards water utility industry.
In her contribution, Minority Leader, Hon. Bernadette Lahai, said water was important because everyone needs it.
“Am happy because the project has created employment for 120 youth, which is a good initiative for the cities that the project will be operating, but among them, young women should be included,” she said.
On his part, Majority Chief Whip, Hon. Claude D.M Kamanda, urged the Ministry of Water Resources, SALWACO and the committee to do thorough monitoring on the project as huge monies have been spent on it.
“We don’t want to see project that would only start and within a twinkle of an eye, breakages occurred and in the end the project ends. We don’t want this project to have such ending. Thorough oversight should be conducted,” he emphasised.