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“SALWACO provides salty water for us to drink”

…Mambolo residents express frustration

April 19, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai

One of SALWACO’s salty water tanks at Mambolo town, Kambia district, northern Sierra Leone

Residents of Mambolo town in the Mambolo chiefdom, Kambia district, northern Sierra Leone, have expressed frustration over what they referred to as the provision of salty water by the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO).

Youth leader of the township, Lamin Ibrahim Kamara, told Concord Times that water sourced from taps constructed by SALWACO was not pure and good for human consumption.

“It is salty and coloured, making it impure for drinking and for domestic purposes. I think the problem is that the engineers dug the well very deep and got to the salt water,” he said.

Mr. Kamara disclosed that SALWACO provided only 10 water facilities for their densely populated  community, adding that the wells  were  installed in the Morieboya section, five each on the right and left hand side of the main road at that section of the township, leaving the remaining sections unserved.

He, however, said even though the wells were not enough to salvage their water crisis.

Asked if they were paying to fetch water from the SALWACO provided taps, the Mambolo Youth leader said they have refused to pay any money, because the water is impure, adding that they have even stopped from fetching water from the facilities.

Fatmata Turay, a woman in her early thirties, told Concord Times that they have voiced out their concerns to the appropriate authorities regarding the status of the water provided by SALWACO, but nothing has been done to address the problem.

“When the SALWACO officials came to Mambolo town some months ago, we told them about it but it appears they don’t want to address the problem,” she noted.

Quizzed about their source of water besides the one provided by SALWACO, she said they do fetch water from a nearby stream and from some other hand dug wells.

However, Concord Times applied all efforts to reach the authorities at SALWACO for their comment, but to no avail.

It could be recalled that in 2011, the African Development Bank and the OPEC Fund for International Development approved $62 million for water supply systems in Bo, Kenema and Makeni.

The Islamic Development Bank provided a loan of US$4.8 million for water supply in Kailahum, Kenema, Kono and Tonkolili Districts. Among the non-governmental organizations CAREAction AidWaterAidWorld VisionOXFAMPlan International and others are active in water supply in the country.

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