June 16, 2015
The Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources last Friday (12th June) inspected water facilities of the Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) in Freetown to get firsthand information about the company’s operations, water quality and supply to the Western Area and its environs. The committee visited GVWC facilities at Mile 13, Spur Road, Barbadorie, and Botanical Garden at FBC.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Sualiho M. Koroma, called on the government to preserve, support, maintain and protect the water catchment areas around the water sources for sustainable and quality water supply to Freetown.
The committee noted that people had built houses around the Spur Road and Barbadorie reservoirs, which they said constitutes a security threat to safe drinking water in Freetown. In this light, Hon. Koroma urged the ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture, and Lands to come together to adequately protect the water facilities.
This, he said, is the essence of oversight, and spoke about the pending debate on the committee’s report which had been tabled in Parliament. He encouraged members not to trivialise the scheduled debate, as “water is not a political tool, but a political goal”.
“As an opposition member, my goal is to see people get quality and sustainable supply of water,” he said and called on the government to provide subvention to GVWC to enable it achieve its goals and objectives.
The committee also encouraged the company to improve on its public relations activities in Freetown.
General Manager of GVWC, Bankole Mansaray, in welcoming the committee members at Mile 13, said their treatment works were commissioned in 1965, noting that the dam could not be expanded because of its original foundation, thus the need for an alternative dam to store and control water spillage during the rains.
He spoke about the need for government to be providing subvention to the company, and informed the committee that seven rivers are emptying into the dam at Mile 13.
Mansaray reported that the GVWC, on a daily basis, supplies 16.5 million gallons of water [to households], and spoke about the threats involved in building houses around the water catchment areas which, according to him, has the potential to deplete and destroy the city’s water sources.
Acting Production Manager, Mohamed Koroma, explained about the water production process which he said meets WHO standards for safe drinking water.
The committee promised to visit other water facilities in the Western Area.
Department of Public Relations
Parliament of Sierra Leone