Today is world water day…

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Water Resource Ministry to deliver pipe born water across Salone

March 22, 2019

By Yusufu S. Bangura

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Minister of Water Resources, Dr. Jonathan Bonopha Tengbe delivering his statement at the press conference

As Sierra Leone joined other countries to celebrate the World Water Day, the Ministry of Water Resources, in collaboration with Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO), Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) and National Water Resources Management Agency, has promised that they would deliver pipe born water across the nation.

Speaking during a press conference held on Tuesday, 19th March, at the Ministry of Information and Communications Conference Hall in Freetown, Minister of Water Resources, Dr. Jonathan B. Tengbe, said they were working with three water companies to provide pipe born water across the country.

He noted that the gathering constitutes preparation  ahead of the celebration of International World Water Day, which is due today (22nd March) on the Theme “Leaving no one behind”.

He said water is the most highly sought commodity in Sierra Leone because people cannot do anything without it, admitting that there is an acute shortage of the substance across the country.

He promised that they would do their best to provide water across the country.

The minister said they inherited a perennial water crisis and that they have not been able to supply water everywhere as a result of the dry season.

“Apparently the ministry has embarked on a dry season water project and the project is essentially to take care of water shortage during the dry season. The Ministry’s medium-term plan is the filling of storage tanks, while plans are underway to provide sustainable water supply in the country,” he said.

He noted that his long term plans were not limited to the development of the River Rokel, which the ministry has hired a French consultant to do a feasibility study that would end in five months.

He said for the provinces, SALWACO has done well as they have purified drinking water for districts headquarter towns.

“We are going to set up a water resource funds, and I want to thank our partners like the GVWC, SALWACO and National Water Resources Management Agency for the good work they are doing in the country,” he said.

He thanked the African Development Bank for their support, and noted that by 2022 the ministry will be able to supply water everywhere in the country.

Managing Director of Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO), Philip Karimu Lansana, said they have a big water project at Lungi, which in few months, will provide pipe born water for  residents in that part of  the country.

He said Guma Valley Water Company is constrained with the unavailability of water bowsers, as there was direct correlation between the forest destruction and the distribution of water, as people were immune to cutting trees at water catchment areas.

“Water supply in Sierra Leone has been a perennial crisis despite efforts by successive government and other non-governmental organizations.  Access to pipe borne water has not improved since the end of the Civil War. In the capital Freetown, taps often run dry; people cut pipes in drainages in their quest to fetch water. It is hoped that the Rokel River project for which a French consultant has been hired to do a feasibility study would alleviate water scarcity,” he said.