UNOPS, UNICEF poised to tackle malnutrition, water issues in Freetown

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By Ishmael Dumbuya

With funding from the Government of Japan, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the United Nations International Children and Educational Fund (UNICEF) have initiated a two-year project aimed at ensuring safe drinking water in Freetown and reducing malnutrition across Sierra Leone.

During the launch event, UNOPS Project Manager, Miksi Osman, praised the Japanese Government for its financial support towards the joint project. Osman emphasized the critical importance of water as a fundamental resource for sustaining life and meeting various social and economic needs.

She highlighted the project’s goal to enhance access to safe drinking water in Freetown, ultimately improving the living standards of its residents.

UNICEF Deputy Representative, Ms. Liv Elin Indreiten, expressed gratitude to the Japanese Government for their generous contributions, noting that the project will support the “Emergency Nutrition Response Project.” She underscored Japan’s significant role as a longstanding partner in efforts to enhance the health and well-being of children and families in Sierra Leone. Indreiten outlined the scope of the nutrition project, emphasizing its collaborative nature with the Ministry of Health and Directorate of Food and Nutrition.

Dr. Charles Sennesie, Deputy Minister 1 at the Ministry Of Health, commended the Government of Japan for their support, highlighting the alignment of the projects with President Bio’s Human Capital Development flagship program.

Engineer Patrick Kamara, Guma Valley Transition and Supply Manager, identified various challenges affecting water supply, including pipe bursts, leakages, and water theft. He emphasized the partnership between UNOPS, UNICEF, and Guma Valley to address these issues and ensure adequate access to safe drinking water.

UN Resident Coordinator, Seraphine Wakana, emphasized the significance of the joint initiative in fostering sustainable human and economic development in Sierra Leone. She referenced the 2021 Sierra Leone National Nutrition Survey, which highlighted the prevalence of malnutrition among children under five years old.

The projects are being implemented in partnership with the Government of Japan, the Ministry of Health, and Guma Valley, with the aim of addressing critical issues related to water and nutrition in Sierra Leone.

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