By Samuel J. Kargbo
Members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Water Resources on Wednesday summoned the Guma Valley Water Company, Sierra Leone Police and Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials over the shortage and misuse of water supply in the country.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Suahilo M. Koroma, said the police and military were summoned because they misuse water that is supplied to their respective facilities by the Guma Valley Water Company, as well as sell the product to businesses and residential homes. He said the misuse of water across the country was an acute problem which lawmakers frown at and would want to put a stop to.
He scolded the water supply company for not being proactive in controlling the wastage and misuse of precious water supplied to the primary security agencies.
Director-General of the Ministry of Defence, Sadiq Kapuwa, admitted that military personnel used to sell water to private residents and businesses, but that the practice has been stopped as they only now supply water to homes of senior personnel and Chinese road construction companies.
In his response to the Committee, General Manger of Guma Valley Water Company, Bankole Mansaray, said the provision of water facility in the country was challenging, while the Ministry of Defence owed the company huge sums of money. He told the Committee that dams – from which they supply water to residents of the city and its environs – have largely dried up because of deforestation.
He blamed the police and army for gross misuse of water supply meant for the rest of the city, and emphasized the need to build a new dam instead of repairing the old one, which he said could be waste of resources.