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‘Water is life and needed in Ebola fight’

…UNMEER Ebola Crisis Manager

May 25, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi

While commissioning a US$15,700 water project at the Observatory Interim Care Center (OICC) at Kontoloh, east Freetown, Saturday, 23 May, UNMEER Ebola Crisis Manager,  Bintou Keita, said she was happy the quick impact water project which was commissioned by her organization had been completed.

Ms. Keita said Cap Anamur, an organization of German emergency doctors, had asked UNMEER for assistance to drill a borehole for the center, adding that they contracted Concern International, an agency responsible for water sanitation to bring the project to fruition, although she clarified that there was no plan for a borehole at the OICC center.

“One of our partners did it all; we have done something that has touched on the lives of people. You all know that water is life. Team and Team Sierra Leone is an international development NGO established in 1999. It has offered services in Uganda, South Sudan, North Sudan, among other countries. This project was implemented within two weeks by the Team and Team. This included ground survey, identification of the drilling site, mobilization and setting equipment, actual drilling, installation of a pump and pipeline to the water reservoirs,” said Ms. Keita.

Though water was found in the depth of 60 metres, the implementing partner drilled 5 metres more to ensure that water is available at all time. Generator provided by Team and Team is powerful enough to lit OICC compound during evening hours; we are very grateful for this development. I want to thank you all for dedicating to the job and I want to specially thank Mr. David Nabaro for mobilizing international support in the fight against Ebola,” she said.

OICC is a center that caters for children from quarantined homes whose parents have tested positive of Ebola and undergoing treatment. These children are moved into the unit at Kontoloh and watched by doctors and caregivers until their parents are discharged.

Head of the Centre, Alhaji Kolleh Yillah, said they were pleased with the support given to them by UNMEER and partners, adding that lack water was one of the challenges they had to grapple with.

He disclosed the centre was established in December 2014 when the Ebola outbreak was at its highest peak, but that they were able to mobilize Ebola survivors who are now providing care for children at the centre.

“OICC has hosted about 62 children from quarantined homes during EDV response and have three children currently. To ensure satisfactory hygiene in OICC, an independent water supply system was missing. I am happy that we now have water in abundance and community people have even asked us to supply them with some water,” he stated.

Bashiru Rogers, from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, said his ministry was pleased with the complimentary role UNMEER and other development partners have played and continue to play during the Ebola outbreak.

He said the government and people of Sierra Leone have been making frantic efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus from the country, adding that the Kontoloh community was badly affected by the disease.

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