Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

September 1, 2014

Free town Peninsula Community benefits from Hybrid Electrification Plant

By Mustapha Sesay, Water &Sanitation Media Network S/L

Energy supply is a key to the socio-economic development of any community or state.

In many developing countries, many depend on either Hydro power electrification or thermal plant.

It is a new concept in the minds of most people to talk of a hybrid plant using both water supply in the rains and solar plant in the dry season to provide electricity supply for community people especially in remote or rural areas.

In Sierra Leone, one area along the Freetown Peninsular that can now boast of this new development is the No. 2 River Community.

Despite the poor status of the road network to getting to this area, it is a tourist resort centre, nice beaches, vegetation and a lot of water shed to keep the turbines in operation.

water

Prior to the develop of this hybrid electrification plant, the Pioneers Welt Hunger Hilfe WHH

It is in this drive that Welt Hunger Heilf WHH undertook a study on the identification of over sixty water sheds along the Freetown Peninsula and the need to preserve them for the sustainability of water supply to the western urban and rural district.

With the collaboration of the European Union and other organization, one of the watershed was developed and protected to provide pipe born water supply for the No. Two River Community.

With more potentials for this community, Welt Hunger Hilfe WHH strived very hard to ensure that most communities benefit from rural power electrification and water supply.

Tuesday, 5th August, 2014 witnessed another milestone for this community as they were the first in the country to witness the commissioning of a Hybrid Electrification plant that will supply twenty hours of electricity during the Rainy and Dry Seasons.

This remarkable development was graced by the Energy Minister and Deputies, development partners, tribal heads and dignitaries,.

As a sign of gratitude for bringing development to their community, the Head of No. 2 River. Abu Bakraa Turam Conteh commended Welt Hunger Hilfe, the European Union, the Government and all who in diverse ways have contributed towards the completion of the project and prayed that more would be done so as to sustain and extend the project to other communities.

Mr. Conteh further revealed that the development of energy technology plays an important role in the drive towards self sufficiency and called on the people to embrace the development at their doorstep.

The Country Director for Welt Hunger Hilfe WHH Jochen Moniger said in 2011, the project started with the identification of watersheds so as to facilitate the supply of water to the communities.  With much improvement, the organization later saw the need to work out modalities for the provision of electricity supply.

With the commitment of the people work progressed on a sound footing as they were always prepared to render valuable services at all times.

The Hybrid Electrification is one of the best of its kind. During the Dry Season, the Solar plant generates electricity for the people of Number Two River as the water level drops considerably while in the Rainy Season, it is the opposite, the mini hydro-plant  generates twenty hours of electricity for the people.

He further stressed that as a way of sustaining the project, the people must be prepared to secure prepared meters and pay their bills so that the money would be spent on running and maintenance cost.

With the new hybrid power plant in operation now, this would help promote developmental programmes within the No Two River community, facilitate the efforts of the children to study at home, halt the noise generators have been making in the neighbourhood and even the black smoke they ooze.

As a sea side resort, this would help promote tourism in the area and this in turn would boost the employment of youths and facilitate trade opportunities.

Special commendation was made to the European Union funded project for intervening in the water supply system for drinking and other purposes.

The Minister of Energy Mr. Thomas  Macauley commended Welt Hunger Hilfe WHH and partners for such a laudable venture as it is in line with the vision of President Koroma to ensure that electricity is visible in all parts of the country.

According to him, the commissioning  of the Hybrid Electrification plant at No Two River signified the good work of the organization as without light, development would be at a standstill.

The Minister admonished all to reflect on the prominent role of light in our societies, namely its importance in the hospitals, factories, industries, our homes, the internet, communication and several other aspects.

The Energy Minister went on to state that it is but fitting that a similar projects are replicated in various parts of the country.

With the commissioning  of the Hybrid Electrification project by the Minister, a tour was made to the plant facilities where both the hydro plant and the Solar plant were inspected.

This was followed by a demonstration of the new plant supplying the township with light that was embraced by the people.

According to Moses Kamara, a Cinema Operator, this is one of the opportunities they have been longing for as it would help to curtail the fuel shortage that had adversely hit their business. He hoped that with this development, customers at his cinema would now get the much needed satisfaction, more so when international matches are being played.

Marie Cole, a trader praised Welt Hunger Heilf WHH and all the partners that have contributed towards the growth and development of their community.

We must noted that Sierra Leoneans in the south and eastern part of the country use to boast of the Dodo Dam that provided electricity in the rains while the Bo-Kenema Power Station provided electricity during the dries. Today, this glory is lost as people in that part of the country are married to ‘BLACKOUT’

ONE major reason for the drop in the water supply is the destruction of the watershed or catchment areas for timber and other purposes.

In the city of Freetown, the struggle for water continues as the Guma Valley Dam and other catchment areas continue to suffer from extensive deforestation.

In a situation where stringent measures are not put in place, most of the watershed areas would be destroyed and this would affect the supply of hydro electricity and water supply to most communities.

 

May 22, 2014

Zambia hosts first African Water Integrity Learning Summit

By Mustapha Sesay, Water & Sanitation Media Network S/L    

AS a way of working towards an “Accelerating Water Secure World, the Water Integrity Network has concluded its first African Water Integrity workshop in Zambia Lusaka from 29-30 April,2014.

Through partnership with ECOWAS, EAC-Lake Victoria Basin Commission and SADC, the programmed trained around 500 water professionals.

This first African Water Integrity Summit brought together 90 experts and stakeholders from 22 African countries

and 30 in total, to share their experiences, lessons learned and identify integrity challenges as we move forward.

To build a water secure future for all, the summit finds

Header-WI-Summit-web

Stakeholders across the regions have successfully pioneered initiatives for more integrity, sometimes in the face of strong resistance. Their courageous actions have created visible improvements for the benefit of their communities and societies at large. Decision-makers at the highest level should take note of their successes, demonstrate clear commitment

to the promotion of water integrity, support integrity ambassadors and ensure that anti-corruption policies are developed, and effectively implemented. Condemning corruption in public is not sufficient when implementation and enforcement of rules is neglected, undermined or obstructed at the same time.

The challenges posed by depleting water resources are; fast population growth and urbanization, rapid destruction of productive aquatic ecosystems and climate change all threaten to overwhelm water management systems. Managing and maintaining the integrity of water resources is part and parcel of managing water with integrity.

 

As water is a fundamental resource for sustainable development. It is essential to economic growth, to eradicate poverty, to secure water, food and energy for a rapidly growing population and sustaining ecosystems for future generations. In most countries, water crises are not due to resource scarcity but primarily due to governance failures. Fragmented institutions obstruct accountability

in a sector with high investment and aid flows, making it particularly vulnerable to corruption. Lack of water-related integrity

incurs huge cost for societies, in lives lost, stalling growth, wasted talent and degraded resources. There is no sustainability without integrity.

The extent of the African water challenge was summarized in AMCOW’s 2012 snapshot: 344 million people in Africa rely on unimproved water sources. Corruption drains billions from the water sector, while more than 300 million people in sub Saharan.

Africa live in water-scarce environments and 115 people die every hour from diseases linked to poor sanitation, poor hygiene and contaminated water.

In 2000, the African Water Vision 2025 named inappropriate governance and institutional arrangements as one core ‘human threat’ to sustainable water management: The vision called for fundamental changes in policies, strategies and institutional arrangements, for the adoption of participatory approaches, as well as for openness, transparency and accountability in decision making processes. The importance of good water governance has been recognized in the preparations of the Sustainable

Development Goals (SDGs), in numerous international and regional declarations and conventions, as well as in stakeholder for a including the 6th World Water Forum, the Water Integrity Forum 2013 and the OECD Water Governance Initiative.

The UNDP-Water Governance Facility together with its partners UNDP Cap-Net, WaterNet, WIN and SIWI, implemented the 3-year Regional Capacity Building Programme promoting and developing water integrity in Sub-Saharan Africa from 2011-2014.

Ongoing water reforms in many countries and regions in Africa offer a unique opportunity to improve the integrity of

the water sector. Poverty and vulnerability to corruption are fundamentally linked; and integrity is a condition for financially viable and sustainable water service delivery. Therefore, water security, poverty eradication and economic growth can only be achieved if water policies go hand in hand with promoting integrity. Water integrity should be mainstreamed

in all sector policies and institutions, in legislation, regulation at various levels, in investment projects and

programmes, and in business models in water service provision. Organizations, including our own, need to consider water integrity in the development of organizational policies, strategies and action plans

Participation of informed stakeholders and a strong civil society are driving forces for change towards integrity. Water governance has to be inclusive, actively carry the debate to weak stakeholders, and address the opportunities and challenges that come with the inclusion of the private sector. Data and information should be freely accessible, understandable and usable, as the basis of transparency and accountability. Clear results frameworks and integrity indicators need to be developed to support both decision making, and to monitor integrity levels. Basic standards of financial management and accounting should be required and enforced by all donors and fund providers as a condition for their support.

The lack of integrity reflects a multi-dimensional capacity gap across all African regions: gaps in basic skills and capacities of local communities, needed for meaningful participation, in professional skills for informed decision making and efficient service delivery, and in technical skills for dedicated integrity professionals tasked with developing organizational frameworks, enforcing rules and building organizational cultures. Beyond personal capacities, institutional capacities present a significant bottleneck and hamper the ability of national and regional bodies to effectively coordinate their efforts. Investment in capacity development is required across all levels, for communities, policy-makers, administrators, water professionals and the private sector. The momentum created by the regional capacity development programme should be translated into a sustained movement and expanded to neighboring regions.

Integrity challenges go beyond corruption. Integrity affects water governance in terms of who gets what water, when

and how. Lack of integrity undermines how costs and benefits are distributed among individuals, society and the environment.

It also increases transaction cost, and discourages appropriate investment in infrastructure. Procedures that ensure integrity are not for free; continuous communication of rights and processes to stakeholders is critical to enforce rules in big investment projects, as is real-time monitoring of infrastructure to uncover problems. But investments in integrity can reap high returns in improved revenues, efficiency gains, increased investment and growth.Regional bodies are well placed to act as drivers of change; raising awareness; linking and harmonizing efforts across regions; support capacity development, and nourish political will in member countries. They play a critical role in advocating

for the inclusion of water integrity in international and regional fora, including AMCOW, the 7th World Water Forum, and the international consultations on the post-2015 development agenda. Future capacity development efforts should also include regional technical agencies and implementing bodies such as regional development banks, transboundary river basin organizations and regional courts.

The costs of inaction are too high to remain passive. The Summit and its partners call on governments, regional bodes and international organizations, the corporate sector and civil society to promote water integrity. The regional programme has laid the groundwork for capacities in the regions; now the momentum created by the first generation of African water integrity ambassadors need to be maintained, sustained and nourished, and build upon to ensure a water secure world for all.

Lusaka.

April 12, 2014

Freetown Water Sector in Coma: Who will remedy the situation?

By Mustapha Sesay, WASH Journalists Network S/L

Whilst our politicians are busy with sugar coated words on improving the water sector, the actual picture on the ground about water service delivery in the capital is bleak and until urgent measures are put in place, the city will one day wake up to find that all the taps have finally run dry.

Making an on the spot visit to the various dams and treatment sites that provide drinking water to the capital city and its environs by a team of Civil Society Advocacy Network on Climate Change (CAW-SL) headed by Charles Mambu, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), staff of the Water Sector and the Media on 13/3/2014, one was astonished to find massive deforestation along the catchment areas, encroachment on the land for construction of houses and mining activities, pollution and the drying up of the sugar loaf dam – signals that the water sector is in a bad state.

 

Even though staff of the Guma Valley Water Company are advancing excuses that the dam was built a hundred years ago for a population of five hundred people, there are reasons for putting strategies in place to cater for the growing population.

 

The road network to the various dams and water treatment plants are not only steep and rugged but a death trap to most vehicles.

It must be noted that the ecosystem and the biodiversity in the Freetown Peninsular are vanishing at an alarming rate. This is mainly due to the uncontrolled and uncoordinated human activities in the Peninsular. Such activities include the use of the power saw machines for the cutting of trees and other vegetation around the demarcated forest reserves. the burning of wood for charcoal, construction of dwelling places, illegal sale of land, and mining construction at quarries by multi national companies.

The ability of the water agencies to continue supplying water is seriously undermined as a result of the exposure of the water dam to direct sunlight; this in return is a serious threat to the supply of water to the growing population in the city and its environs

At the Guma Valley catchment sites, the dam that supplies most areas in the city of Freetown, the old pipes directly linking the city with water services are not only old and exposed to rust but now subjected to wild bush fires ignited by those clearing the encroached land for various construction purposes.

Just by the gate, most of the areas have been cleared for vegetable garden and fire wood.

At the actual dam sites there is a drop in the water level.

Upon investigation, neither the staff of the water company, Lands officials nor the Foresters were in a position to state who was actually responsible for the deforestation or encroached of the catchment areas.

At the Babadorie dam at Hill Station that supplies water to the Mountain Rural areas and some parts of the west end of the city and Pademba Road, the situation is very alarming as the dam is not only unprotected but partly dried up.

I was informed by staff of the water company that before now two dams, namely the Tacugama  Dam and the Sugar Loaf, have been supplying water to the Babadorie treatment plant for the Mountain Road areas.

Today, the Sugar Loaf Dam is dried up and even the Tacugama Dam is supplying water at snail’s pace, resulting in a drastic drop in the supply of water to the mountain rural areas and most areas in the city

The structures and ashes from the massive bushfires around the dams and treatment plants are dangerous to the survival of the plant.

 

There is all the possibility for the houses overlooking the dam at Babadorie easy to contaminate the water as a result of the poor sewage facilities closely built to the dam.

Though staff of the water company are very quick to tell the public that plans are on the way to very soon construct new dams to address the poor water service delivery in the city that is almost housing two million people, the proposed site is currently facing challenges of encroachment and the building of houses.

One thing that stands out clearly in all this is that the masses continue to be denied access to affordable and quality drinking water while the wealthy and highly placed in the society continue to receive supplies of water from the Guma Valley Buzzers.

To the encroachers what matters is getting land at all cost and depriving the majority from getting water by building around the catchment areas.

At the Tacugama dam at Regent – Grafton, poor road network has isolated this area exposing it to all forms of activities that are drying up the dam at an alarming rate.

If with what is ongoing in the wetlands and catchment areas are not of concern to the water ministry.

Today our water sector continues to be in a state of Coma as a result of the following challenges.

Stakeholders in this sector are not in a position to give the actual picture of the demise of our water service delivered to the masses, more so when such places are isolated and dangerous places.

Their messages are always “we will soon improve on the water service delivery as we have signed contracts with partners”.

There is a lack of coordination among the staff of the water sector, foresters, lands and security agencies in protecting the catchments and land around the dams.  As a result of this, influential personalities are using this opportunity to grab land indiscriminately.

It is very difficult to see demarcated zone in these places. Punitive measures have not been instituted like the demolishing of structures or the imposition of heavy fines as a deterrent to others.

If we are to see a remedy of this dismal situation the following must now be put in place.

The security officers operating in these areas must be increased and empowered to arrest all those engaged in illegal activities.

There should be mass demolition of all houses around the catchment and forest reserved areas.

The officials of the water sector must give out regularly the correct picture of the status of the water system to the public.

There should also be massive education of the public on the adverse effects of encroachment and deforestation of our reserved forest areas and wetlands.

If Freetown is to address the issue of water scarcity, it is now time to protect and preserve our water catchment areas, construct new dams and embark on massive awareness campaign on the effects of man’s activities on the environment.

April 12, 2014

WATER SCARCITY TO HIT FREETOWN AS SUGAR LOAF DAM DRIES UP

BY Mustapha Sesay 

The current status of the water service delivery in the city of Freetown will become acute if urgent measures are not put in place to halt the massive encroachment of land in the catchment areas.

A team from the Civil Society Advocacy Network on Climate Change, the Deputy Mayor of the Freetown City Council, Staff of Guma Valley Water Company, SLAWACO, Staff of the Forestry Division, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Media made a visit on Thursday, 13th March, 2014 to dams and treatment sites.

The visit to the Guma Valley Water Company, Tacugama reservour and the Babadorie sites was to get firsthand information on the environmental hazards plaguing our catchment areas.

Drop in Guma Valley Water Level

Drop in Guma Valley Water Level

It must be noted that the ecosystem and the biodiversity in the Freetown Peninsular are vanishing at an alarming rate. This is mainly due to the uncontrolled and uncoordinated human activities in the Peninsular. Such activities include the use of the power saw machines for the cutting of trees and other vegetation around the demarcated forest reserves. the burning of wood for charcoal, construction of dwelling places, illegal sale of land, and mining construction at quarries by multi national companies.

The ability of the water agencies to continue supplying water is seriously undermined as a result of the exposure of the water dam to direct sunlight; this in return is a serious threat to the supply of water to the growing population in the city and its environs.

At the Guma Valley catchment and Babadorie reservoir it was alarming to note that a massive construction of dwellings is ongoing and not only on state land and this exposes the pipes to adverse conditions. The Babadorie Reservoir is far below the water level as the Sugar Loaf Water Reserve is dried up and cannot supply water to the dam.

At Tacugama , it was also note that the water level cannot serve the majority of the populace if steps are not taken to remedy the situation.

Addressing the delegation, the Guma Valley Boss Mr. Bankole Mansaray extended his gratitude for embarking on a campaign to create awareness on the destruction caused by human activities to the Freetown Peninsular with the view that policymakers and communities take the required steps to halt the envirommental hazards.

The Head of the Environmental Protection Agency Madam Jatou Jallow stressed that water is life and a natural gift. It should be protected at all times and our duty is to raise the awareness to stop the encroachment on the catchment areas and ensure that pure water is available to Sierra Leoneans. She further recommended for very tough action to be taken against all those erection structures on the water catchment sites.

If Freetown is to address the issue of water scarcity, it is now time to protect and preserve our water catchment areas, construct new dams and embark on massive awareness campaign on the effects of man’s activities un the environment,

April 12, 2014

Corruption in the Water Sector

 

By Mustapha Sesay, West Africa Water Integrity Ambassador

The high rate of corruption in the Water Sector continues to have devastating effects on the lives of the deprived and marginalized communities in developing countries to the point that many die from either contamination or water related diseases.

According to the Program Manager for Water Integrity Network in Sweden Mr. James Laten, the past ten years had witnessed a period in which over thirty billion dollars US$ 30 billion fund invested in the Water Sector in developing countries go into wrong hands.

If we are to make a reverse of this dismal situation where the billions of dollars invested in the water sector is reflected in the lives of the ordinary person, there is the need to put mechanism in place to monitor water projects at all stages and heads of water institutions give account of how funds are utilized.

Today, we hears of billion of bilateral contracts signed, extravagant talk shows  and radio programmes on plans to improve  the water sector but at the end of the day, the water situation is either dismal or remains the same

How long must this situation continue where the wealthy and those highly placed in society enjoy and access pure and safe drinking tap water leaving the majority of the poor community to trek miles for just a bucket of water?  When will the deprived and marginalized on the hill top areas, the slums, camps and remote villages say “we too can now boast of pure drinking water?

When will our politicians stand by their manifestos by providing pure and affordable drinking water for their subjects?

Every day, millions are dying slowly as a result of lack of accessing pure drinking water.  At some point in time,
Governments in various places tend to shift the blame on the masses and on the other hand the masses shift the blame on the Government for not meeting its responsibilities.

The issue of accessing pure and affordable water is a fundamental human right but this is not given the much needed attention.

Corruption in the water sector is ripe and involves all classes of people ranging from the ordinary man, politicians, Heads of Water Institutions and even Non-Governmental organizations working in this sector.

Report on “Corruption in the water sector” by Water Integrity Network in a book titled “Training Manual on Water Integrity” states that in the sub-Sahara Africa, forty-four percent (44 %) of the countries are unlikely to attain the Millennium Development Goal target for drinking water eighty-five percent (85%) are unlikely to attain the sanitation aspect.

Estimate by the World Bank report suggests that twenty –forty percent (20 – 40% ) of water sector finances are being lost to dishonest practices.

Talking about corrupt practices in the water sector there are lots of reference points to make in the case of Sierra Leone.   As a result of greed and selfishness, we today tend to embark on the following activities that in turn affect the effective operation of the water service delivery system.

The process of awarding contracts for the implementation of water service delivery projects, too much concentration of water programmes in the cities rather than the rural areas even though they too are paying taxes to the Government,

Refusal to pay for water rate bills regularly to the water sector, Removal of pipes or water facilities machines parts for sale as scrap metal. Substandard projects by some contractors and the lack of transparency and accountability by some authorities and the marginalization of certain areas that already have water service delivery structures only to be rehabilitated but due to certain unknown reasons, the inhabitations continue to go for years without pipe born water and the proliferation of water industries operated in the houses of most people.

It must be noted that Kambia District is a melting pot in the country as people from all parts of the country and neighbouring Guinea converge to do a weekly trade activity. As a result of this, there is the need for a sound sanitation practise and access to pure drinking water so as to avoid the outbreak of cholera. Unfortunately when this was not adhered to, it was a breeding ground for the spread of cholera that affected the lives of many people in the country.

Kambia District, with a population (2010) of about 308,929 (Statistics Sierra Leone), has the lowest percentage (27%) of households with improved source of drinking water in the Northern region and below the national average (57%). There are 992 protected water points in the district, out of which only 549 are functional. Of the 443 non functional water points, 106 are partially damaged, while 270 are completely broken down. These non functional wells are mostly as a result of the lack of maintenance or a defined strategy of sustaining the operations of the water points.

 

One major excuse advanced last year was that some of the inhabitant refused the payment of Le 15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Leone) monthly water rate bill per household and that almost halted the effective operations of JICA & Sierra Leone Water project.
In Moyamba District, Kori Chiefdom Taiama, water infrastructure that had been abandoned for almost twenty years is slowly becoming a zone for scrap metals as youths are seen either climbing the tanks, the machine rooms to grab whatever they could.

Kori Chiefdom hosts the oldest provincial University in the country; Njala University  yet, access to pure and affordable drinking pipe born water is a dream to be actualized. In morning, it is survival of the fittest to get water from boreholes or wells with hand pumps.

In the city of Freetown, the search for pure and affordable water has forced many to embark on unhealthy practices at the detriment of the little water delivery service.

Though the Government intends to shift the low water service delivery in the city to the pressure on the Guma Valley Dam,  to many this is not acceptable as there are other quality dam around the city that must have been developed to supply other parts of the city. Most people who cannot get the flow of the Guma Valley water to their respective communities in the east or mountainous places cut pipes to scoop water whilst others embark on illegal connections.

It is hearts bleeding that long lines are visible around a single pipe born tap and many spent hours without getting water.  At these points, illegal fees from buckets or gallons on the grounds that the money is used for cleaning the tap.

In mountainous region of the city, precisely Allen Town or the Wilberforce area, community bore holes exist which are controlled by certain individual for which a minimum sum is paid.

The unfortunate aspect of this is that the locals lack the contents of chemicals to clean the water wells or improve on the status.

With regards to substandard work or political influence, some organizations working on the construction of water wells are under pressure to select areas closer to the houses of traditional authorities rather than looking out for ideal sites that will maintain water throughout the year.  With such poor judgment, politically influenced or substandard wells do not survive the retention of water in the dry season as a result they wells are not up to the task for which they were constructed.

Although the Acting Director of Sierra Leone Water Company SLWACO Mr. Bangura disclosed to one local media of development in the water sector, this has not still change the dismay situation of the masses as millions continue spend the rest of the day scouting for water in the city not to mention those in the remote areas of the country

The lack of access to pure water supply is still a major concern especially in the in the eastern parts of Freetown where it is either you are up till 12pm or 4am to get water. Thunder Hill is one of the most deprived communities with children abandoning their schools in search of water by using wooden trolleys to secure water on commercial basis.

Alpha Kamara, the caretaker of the Pompidou Ground well in kissy, in an interview revealed that access to pure water is still a major problem at Thunder Hill as the Pompidou Ground Well is serving hundreds of residents on a daily basis from various communities including Lowcost, Brima Lane, Portee, and Jollah Terrace among others, being the only source of water during the dry season. He nevertheless cited the poor sanitary state of the well, noting that some residents use it for drinking purposes which has a negative impact on their health.

The statement of “ we have signed contacts with companies and plans to construct modern water facilities in various parts of the country is not a news to us so we want action now.

We have already commenced a crucial period in the year, the Dry season that will witness the drying up of streams and rivers so what is the Ministry of Water Resources going to do to address this situation?

 

 

January 19, 2013

Access to clean and safe water is a big problem for rural communities in the North

By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya with fellowship from the West Africa Water and Sanitation Journalists Network and partnership from WaterAid, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

It is the end of the rainy season and the soil keeps drying and water losing on it. This is marking the start of the struggle to get clean and affordable drinking water for communities in remote areas of Sierra Leone. Children and their mothers are greasing up their feet and stretching up their heads to start searching for any source of water they can set eyes on for their domestic uses.

As part of a fellowship from the West Africa Water and Sanitation Journalists Network, I traveled 248km North of Sierra Leone to get an information on how rural communities are coping up to access safe and clean water in their localities. On my arrival at Kamabala in the Tonkoh Limba Chiefdom of Kambia District, the situation is very much appalling seeing community of more than 7000 people struggling to fetch water from a more deplorable water source dug by an 18 year old village boy.

Clean and affordable water is now regarded as a great commodity by the international community. A 2007 statement from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights states that “it is now time to consider access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right, defined as the right to equal and non-discriminatory access to a sufficient amount of safe drinking water for personal and domestic uses—drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation and personal and household hygiene—to sustain life and health. States should prioritize these personal and domestic uses over other water uses and should take steps to ensure that this sufficient amount is of good quality, affordable for all and can be collected within a reasonable distance from a person’s home.”

Madam Fudia Conteh scooping water for their domestic use in Kamabala Village. She is one of the many rural women in the North that suffers to get clean and safe drinking water for their homes

Madam Fudia Conteh scooping water for their domestic use in Kamabala Village. She is one of the many rural women in the North that suffers to get clean and safe drinking water for their homes

The statement above is not the real situation for rural communities in Sierra Leone. The water source for the Kamabala community was dug below the Bamboo canes and located down a hilly route from the village. There is no electricity to help purify water in major provincial communities in the country and digging a well in Bamboo trees like this will certainly help get natural coldness of water for the community. A visit and sit of half an hour made me to see more than 100 women and children struggling to fetch water in the well.

The distance is about 200 meters from the last house in the community and during the raining season, all the debris and filthy including human wastes from the community are transported to this downstream valley. The dung beetles are rolling balls of human feces whilst the flies are dancing around and singing praises to a child who has just deposited some human wastes about 5 feet from the water well.

The local water-village-savior, Sieh M Dumbuya attending the Wesleyan Secondary School, Kamabala has been searching for water points during the past years and “when I discovered that people have started to suffer for clean and affordable water, I came to this water-find which I believe will serve a long way this year” he said. All residents in the Kamabala Community depend on this water for both their drinking and domestic use as confirmed by Sieh and the Chief of the community. Sieh said he dug the well so that he can save the health problem of the community.

Even the school going children like Rugiatu get the taste of water shortage in Kamabala, Northern Sierra Leone

Even the school going children like Rugiatu get the taste of water shortage in Kamabala, Northern Sierra Leone

A 45 year old Fudia Conteh said “this water source will soon dry up and after such; we will start to fetch water at the tap provided through the assistance of a local NGO in the district.

But all these taps are not reliable for the community. The Banekeh River is dividing Kambia and Bombali Districts and it is also flowing North of Kamabala settlement. When the tap water and some major water source in the community dry up, the only source for the women at the peak of the dry season is to walk a distance of 4km to get water for their homes. “Even if you want to cook or drink, you must walk this distance to get water or else you stay with none” the 45 year old Fudia said. She said “the water is not clean but it is the only source which has been keeping us alive for the past thirty years”.

A 25 year old house wife, Sallaymatu Kargbo also confirmed that there is no other means of getting clean water for the community and because of this situation they must adopt to the water system. They are used to drinking red-dish water in the community with no official health problem reported from them. “We have no way to do” she said.

School going Children in the Kamabala Community will first fetch water for their parents in the morning and probably wash their mouths at the water well before they can think of going for their schooling on week days. If they try to avoid such task for a day, they will be meted with a lesson that they will never forget in their life time. “I fetch water before going to school and after school also” a class 4 school pupil said.

The official service providers for water supply in Sierra Leone are the government owned Guma Valley Water Company in Freetown and the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) and the Local Councils. With a new decentralization policy, embodied in the Local Government Act of 2004, responsibility for water supply in areas outside the capital city was passed from the central government to local councils.

Official reports at the Sierra Leone Water Company indicates that as of 2012, SALWACO only provides piped water in Lungi in the Port Loko District, Makeni in the Bombali District, Bo and Kenema districts and was in the process of providing for residents in part of Pujehun and Koinadugu Districts. Officials at the SALWACO and Local Council in Kambia out of anonymity revealed that there is yet no ways for providing pipe-borne water in many major towns of Kambia District, not to mention of smaller ones. The Water Company is supposed to transfer water service provision to Local Councils and this has not happened so far because of little capacity to do so.

There are still many people in the world that still do not have sufficient access to safe drinking water. Official United Nations report indicates that about 884 million people don’t have access to clean water of which about 340 million people live in Africa.

Globally and on a daily basis, 200 million hours of women’s time is used in fetching water and official statements indicate that this leaves them extremely vulnerable.

Results also highlight that 3.6 million people die annually from water-related diseases. Sub-Saharan countries only store 4% of their annual renewable flows. Compare to 70-90% in developed countries. In Sierra Leone, the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma has just separated the Ministry of Energy from the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources to further responsible for water and sanitation policy in the country.

With the unavailability of plastic and bottled water supply in the rural town of Kamabala, it is not yet clear when these rural women will stop drinking red colored water that has great potential of making them and their children get sick.

Besides the fact of the government Sierra Leone’s key and importance role towards ensuring clean and affordable water for its citizens in the country, sons of the soil of Kamabala may come in for assistance towards this trend. The town itself is a producer of prominent descendants presently living in the city with some working and holding vital positions at the University of Sierra Leone and the National Revenue Authority but they hardly come back to the village and help to the water or whatever assistance the Community may need.

Definitely and most certainly, if all these personalities come out and start mobilizing to save their Community, the crisis the Kamabala is facing will obviously be a thing of the past one day and rural women will breathe a sigh of relief.

Written by Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya with fellowship from the West Africa Water and Sanitation Journalists Network and partnership from WaterAid, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. Email: kindamadumbuya@yahoo.com, Mobile: +23276897169

 

 

January 19, 2013

$8 million Water Project: 300 taps for Kambia

By Mustapha Sesay, Water and Sanitation Media Network Sierra Leone

Residents of Kambia Town, northern Sierra Leone have commended the Government of Sierra Leone for providing them with pipe -born water after forty years to address the acute shortage of water and reduce the spread of water born diseases.

The Kambia Water Supply Project was made possible through a grant -aid from the people of Japan as a token of friendship and corporation to the tune of eight million dollars through the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA).

ALWACO and JICA Officials testing some of the  taps in Kambia Town

ALWACO and JICA Officials testing some of the taps in Kambia Town

Officers of the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO), the Contractor of the Kambia Water Supply Project Dai Nippon Construction Japan and the Consultants from Eight-Japan Engineering Consultants Incorporated have ended a working visit to the completed Kambia Water Supply Project, installed distribution network and staff quarters.

Briefing the delegation the SALWACO Kambia District Engineer Yankuba Tarawalley said the Kambia water supply project is now ready for use by the local authorities.

He said the source of water for the Kambia Water Supply Project is the Kollenten River, which provides a treated water of 1,200 cubic meters of water per day to an elevated tank of 400 cubic meters.

The SALWACO Engineer said the project constructed three hundred taps of one hundred stand post at a distance of 100 meters range, he added that the 2,300 household have also been registered to enable them benefit from the pipe born water.

 The JICA project Manager Kazumi Matsuda said the Kambia water treatment plant and its distribution network has state of the art technologies that ensure the delivery of safe drinking water to households.

He said the treatment plant has an automated system that diagnosis faults on the machinery as local staff will also be trained on the use and maintenance of the Kambia water supply facilities to ensure sustenance of the project.

The Ag. Director General of SALWACO Victor Hastings Spaine after a conducted tour of the facilities said the Kambia Water Supply Project is one of the best in the country and calls on Kambia residents to embrace the project.

He said SALWACO will provide seed money for the commencement of water distribution within the Kambia Township for a period of three months and called on the Kambia Local Council and the water management Board to support the project.

The Ag. Director General of SALWACO Victor Hastings Spaine also stated that his company will also provide technical and managerial assistance towards the Kambia water supply project and also promised to construct toilet facilities within the project site.

The Chairman of the Kambia Water Supply and Sanitation Board Ibrahim S. Njai said the people of Kambia have not received pipe born water for the past forty years and assured that the water project will be sustained for the benefit of residents.

He appealed to the Management of SLWACO for a continued support towards the water supply project and to also train the technical staff of the project for the use and maintenance of the facilities.

Mr. Ibrahim S. N’jai also appealed for transportation in the areas of vehicles or motor bikes as the Kambia water supply project site is a long distance from the township.

The Chief Administrator of the Kambia District Council Victor Kalie Kamara expressed thanks and appreciation to the government of Japan and SALWACO for their support and pledged council’s determination to provide a subsidy towards the water project to ensure its sustenance.

A resident of Kambia Town who runs the council’s restaurant Adama Turay said the Kambia water supply project is a blessing to the district as they have been suffering to get pipe born water for years which also costs them a lot of money to buy packet water for drinking and domestic use at their homes.

She said they are willing to pay for the pipe –born water provided by the Kambia Water Supply Project as it will reduce the financial burden on families and also deaths on water born disease related ailments.

 This article is produced by Water and Sanitation Media Network, Sierra Leone Chapter in partnership with West Africa WaterAid and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.

June 4, 2012

Poor WASH Polices and its Effects

By Mustapha Sesay-Sierra Leone, Email: mustaphasesay@yahoo.com

Unlike the Dry season in most African states that are characterized by acute water shortage, the Rainy season has stated and the masses are seriously going to feel the devastating effects due to lack of effective WASH policies in most areas
Sierra Leone is one of the places worst hit by poor water, hygiene and sanitation facilities at this time of the year as a result of man’s own activities to its environment.
Moving through the major streets of the cities, i.e. Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni, one common feature that is visible is the piles of garbage deposited all over by petty traders after the day’s sales. The drainage are so narrow that most of the waste materials fill these places and flow onto the streets thereby polluting the environment. In the market places, the single dustbin sites built by the Councils are not only overfilled but stinky as these places are left unattended making them breeding grounds for flies, mosquitoes, and mice.

It is alarming that when Council and the Waste Management Company are unable to perform their role of ensuring a healthy clean environment, the traders are left with no option but to deposit unwanted materials in various places. Though the places are filthy and flea infested, traders with cooked food or consumable food stuff are forced to occupy these filthy places and sell to the public. It is for this reason that at the start of the rains one is not surprised to hear of frequent reported cases of outbreak of Cholera, Dysentery, etc. What worries most people is that even the roads to these market places are muddy and filthy, yet Council is not doing much to address the issue. There are times suckling mothers will be busy selling consumable goods and at the same time attending to their babies. Apart from spreading diseases to the public, the cold environment is a health hazard to the baby.
Looking at the places where most of these traders come from in the morning hours, apart from the congestion of most residential areas, it is a common practice for most to throw their dirt into the drainages rather than depositing them in the dustbins. Others will prefer looking for empty rice sacks or drums to keep their garbage for days and weeks. The ugliest part of this scenario is that when it rains during the night people will be seen carrying their piles of rubbish to be deposited in the gutters and drainages, and at most times in the frontage of residences. Not in the least worried about where the rubbish ends up, it is no surprise that most are found flooding the streets and in some cases where houses are built in low level areas these unwanted materials are flooding the compounds of their fellow community people, while still hampering the smooth flow of traffic and pedestrians as they litter the streets.
The situation is unprecedented and has been viewed as very unhygienic as it presents a bad image of the cities to the public, especially visitors to our cities and country.
In most areas shrouded with poor WASH facilities, it is very deplorable to witness as household family members defecating in buckets, locked up tightly in their bathrooms only to be thrown in to the gutters and drainages when it rains; it is not uncommon at night to find people defecating in black plastic bags and throw them in the streets, bringing with them flies. It is on this note that people are advised not to pick up black plastic bags found along the streets after a heavy downpour of rain.
Another area that is hard hit by poor WASH facilities during the rainy season are the slum areas. Most of our cities especially along the west coast of Africa, special reference to Sierra Leone, are surrounded by slum communities which are mostly located by the seaside or coastal areas. Typical examples are the MOA Wharf, Kroo Bay, and Susan’s Bay to name but a few.
The plight of housing facilities is felt more seriously at this time of the year when the population has to battle with a wet environment and flooding. The population has to be up each time it rains heavily, as the deluge of water empties itself into these areas before it finally goes into the sea. Some of the ugliest feature of these communities especially Kroo Bay in the West of the city is that they are overcrowded with makeshift structures that are poorly built
With heavy torrential rains, these houses or areas are over flooded with rooms not spared.
With this, People at night wake up swimming in their houses or rooms reaching for places of safety. For the past years, the rainy season has been a worrisome moment as animals, properties and human lives are destroyed because the rain washes all along its path into the sea. In the past, there were plans to move the people within these places to safer areas but nothing of this is now heard about. In the city, the poor drainage construction is also of concern to the public as the flooded drainages are a death trap for school children and strangers as there are cases of children having been swept away only to be later found dead.
As a result of the outbreak of diseases associated with poor water, sanitation and hygiene practices in our cities, flooding and destruction of lives and properties at this time of the year, the Central and Local Government in the past and present have used various strategies to address some of these burning issues, yet the problem still persists.
Before now, it was a common practice by the City Council in collaboration with Clean Salone and the Freetown Waste Management Company to ensure that the city and its environs are clean and environmentally friendly. Most of these strategies have been fruitless as a result of one’s attitudes towards maintaining a clean and friendly environment.
Previously, it had been scheduled that the last Friday of every month be “National Cleaning Day”; from 6am to 10am. All were expected to be within their environment cleaning their houses and compounds. Those who are caught along the streets doing nothing were either subjected to cleaning public places or arrested and later fined in the courts of law.
Though it was a good drive to ensure a clean environment, it was later misconstrued by certain sectors of the community. While it was meant to clean the environment, others were using the opportunity to throw all the dirt or rubbish accumulated for weeks along the streets. With the lack of man power/trucks on the side of the Council to speedily clear the piled up dirt, the rubbish was again scattered in the streets hampering the smooth flow of traffic. Though it is the mandate of the Council to clean the city, it was ironical that the city ended up becoming the dirtiest place after every cleaning exercise.
If today we as a nation prefer a clean environment devoid of health risk hazards, there is the need for all to observe best WASH practices in the sub-region and the country.

October 9, 2011

WSSCC official charges Journalists to 'keep asking questions'

“Keep asking questions. Sanitation and hygiene are not glamorous issues that you can easily get into the front pages of the media.

You have an incredible role to play in terms of transparency, in terms of ensuring there is public accountability. You need to ask great questions that will put service providers and regulators on their foot.

Use your expertise, professional skills, and enthusiasm to keep asking questions on how Sanitation and Hygiene services can be effectively delivered to the people. “

-Amanda Marlin, Programme Manager, Advocacy and Communications, WSSCC at a Training workshop for West Africa WASH Journalists during the Global Forum on Sanitation, Mumbai, India, October 9, 2011

October 9, 2011

Experts converge in Mumbai to discuss global sanitation challenges

By Edmund Smith-Asante

Global and National bodies working in the Sanitation sector as well as leading sector practitioners have converged in Mumbai India to discuss sanitation challenges facing about 2.6 billion people worldwide.

In India, for every 1,000 children, 87 die before they reach age five (5), while national water coverage is 87% but sanitation trails at 30% nationally in the country, according to reports from UNICEF.

For Nigeria in Africa, the United Nations agency says out of a 1,000 children, 198 die before they celebrate their 5th birthday, the national coverage for water is 60%, while for sanitation it is 38%.

In Ethiopia, children who die before they are five are 169 for every 1,000, while the coverage figures for water and sanitation are 22% and 6% respectively, according to the same UNICEF source.
Thirty-seven (37) out of 1,000 of China’s children also die before their fifth birthday, while national water coverage is 77% and sanitation 44%.
For Ghana as well, the number of child deaths before age five (5) per every 1,000 as at 2009 was 50, while national coverage for drinking water was 82% and 13% for improved sanitation as at 2008 (UNICEF).

Also, 125 of every 1,000 of Iraq’s infants die before age five (5), whereas water coverage is at 81% and sanitation 80%, a rare occurrence in water and sanitation ratio, according to short profiles that include a summary of the water and sanitation status in 37 countries where UNICEF works.
Most of the children who die before attaining age five, statistics show, die mostly out of diseases caused by the lack of proper hygiene in handling food, nutrition, potable water, and improved sanitation.

Annual child mortality in a host of countries globally, add up to about 9 million of all children who die each year, from preventable and treatable illnesses before reaching their fifth birthday, and constitute a portion of the 2.6 billion peoples of the world who daily go without improved sanitation and proper hygiene observation and education.

Diarrhoea’s contribution to child mortality

According to rehydrate.org, a rehydration project embarked upon by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and other partners, 2.2 million children will die from diarrhoea and related diseases this year.

It continues that 80% of them will die in the first two years of their life; 42,000 a week, 6,000 a day, four every minute and one every fourteen seconds.
The site continues that Diarrhoea is the passage of loose or watery stools occurring three or more times in a 24-hour period, listing the three types of diarrhoea as acute diarrhoea, persistent diarrhoea and dysentery.

If an episode of diarrhoea lasts less than 14 days, it is acute diarrhoea, which causes dehydration and contributes to malnutrition, whereas the death of a child with acute diarrhoea is usually due to dehydration, the site states.

If the diarrhoea lasts 14 days or more, it is persistent diarrhoea. Up to 20% of episodes of diarrhoea become persistent and often causes nutritional problems, creating the risk of malnutrition and serious non-intestinal infection as well as dehydration, it continues.

Diarrhoea with blood in the stool – with or without mucus – is called dysentery and is very dangerous because of its ability to lead to anorexia, rapid weight loss, and damage to the intestinal mucosa and sepsis, according to information gathered by the project.

The project states further that although the global under-five mortality from acute diarrhoea has decreased from 4.5 million to 1.8 million annually, acute diarrhoea continues to take a huge toll on children’s health in developing countries (WHO 2006). Diarrhoea again represents a significant burden on the health system, the household, and the nutritional status of children (Bateman and McGahey 2001).

Diarrhoea is the second leading killer of children under the age of five, accounting for approximately 15% of under-five child deaths worldwide, or almost two million deaths annually (WHO 2003).
However, though the means to prevent diarrhoea through water supply, sanitation, and hygiene have been well documented, each year roughly one and one half billion episodes of acute diarrhoea occur among children under the age of five, the Rehydration Project has also documented.

Further, according to WaterAid, an international Non-Governmental Organisation, “1.4 million children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation – 4,000 child deaths a day or one child every 20 seconds.”

Available statistics also indicate that 65% of all child deaths are from three causes, which are Acute Respiratory Tract infections which now kill 3.6 million children each year, Diarrhoeal diseases which are responsible for about 2.2 million child deaths every year and preventable diseases: measles, tuberculosis, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, and pertussis, also responsible for some 2.1 million child deaths every year. Of all these, almost 1 million are attributed to measles.

WSSCC’s rescue plan
It is to deal with this global albatross that the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), together with a host of partners, including the Government of India, Government of Maharashtra, SHARE (Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity), Sulabh, Unilever, WaterAid, UNICEF South Asia, Plan International, Freshwater Action Network/FAN-South Asia, ANEW, The CLTS Foundation, Public Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap (PPPHW), WIN (Water Integrity Network), CREPA, Arghyam, EAWAG, IDE, IDS, International Water Association, WASH United, and WSP are holding a Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) from October 9, 2011 to October 14, 2011.

The event, according to the organisers, offers a prime opportunity to share ideas on leadership, skills, knowledge, behaviour change and actions that can improve the lives of the 2.6 billion people in the world without safe sanitation and hygiene.
They opine that the forum will not be a talk shop but will instead, facilitate learning and sharing between practitioners, policymakers and other experts inside and outside of the sanitation sector, and will energize professional communities by focusing exclusively on sanitation and hygiene.

It is also expected to showcase knowledge, investment, communications, advocacy, partnership and networking approaches, as well as strengthen national, regional, South-South, and global dialogue and collaboration and includes the plenary, break-out and workshop sessions, each with dynamic speakers and presentations.

Some topics for the plenary sessions are: Inspire to Act; Breaking the Mould; What Changes Behaviour; Getting from Small to Big; Looking at Sanitation from the Lens of the Vulnerable; What Success Would Look Like with an Equity Lens; Sharing Across the Regional Sanitation Conferences; Regional Reports on Key Actions; Closing Plenary: Where Do We Go From Here?

For Break-out sessions some of the topics will be: Exploring Private Sector Partnerships in Behaviour Change; Rewards, Sanctions and Benchmarking as Tools for Behaviour Change; WASH Advocacy: How to Win Minds and Hearts; Total Sanitation: Reaching Many Millions; The CLTS Debate; Communications for Change; Urban Sanitation at Scale; Designing for the Human Life Cycle; Governance for Equity; Monitoring for Equity; Financing for Equity; Knowledge and Network Partnerships.

There will also be training sessions on Communications for Behavioural Impact (COMBI); CLTS 101: An Introduction; Sanitation Marketing; Equitable Service Delivery; Using Dev Info to Monitor Equity in Human Development; Monitoring Behaviour Change as well as urban and rural sanitation field visits.

Commenting on the forum, Anna Tibaijuka, Chair, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, said “What is needed, today, is serious engagement around the sorts of programmes and policies that are going to help us reach beyond 2015 – to a world where all people have access to decent sanitation and hygiene. As a global community we need to agree what is needed, how to get there, and what skills we need to achieve results.”

Launch of Global Community of Practice
A special feature of this year’s Global Forum will be the launch of a “Global Community of Practice for Sanitation and Hygiene.”

WSSCC is launching the initiative in response to sector demand for collaborative learning in sanitation and hygiene and it will be a space for honest and frank debate across
sanitation and hygiene thematic areas, to share experiences, lessons learned, successes and failures and identify best practices through national-international and South-South exchange.

Although over 40 sector professionals discussed this concept at the World Water Week in Stockholm 2011, the organizers believe the real conversation will start when the global gathering of participants at WSSCC’s Global Forum identify pressing questions and learning opportunities that will determine the focus of the “Community of Practice” for the coming year.

Top-level Speakers:
Top-level speakers for the forum include professionals in government and business including Sri Jayaram Ramesh, the Minister of Rural Development, Government of India; Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra (TBC); Bindheshwar Pathak, Sulabh; and Rohini Nilekani, Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam.

Dr. Robert Aunger, a leading researcher in Evolutionary Public Health with the Hygiene Center at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will also give a keynote speech on the science of behavior change.
From the BBC World Service Trust will be Siddharta Swarup, who will present how “Communications does its magic” in fostering social and economic development.

There will be in-depth reflections led by speakers from Unilever, IDE Cambodia and BRAC on the private sector’s participation and supply chains in providing latrines, soap and sanitary napkins in “Exploring private sector partnerships in behavior change.” Social entrepreneurs David Kuria of Ecotact in Kenya, and Anshu Gupta of Goonj – both distinguished ASHOKA Fellows – will for their part, present inspiring stories of change : be it from franchising public toilets in Africa or the ”production of sanitary napkins from recycled cloth.”
Global Participation

WSSCC has taken into consideration every aspect of the conference which is attracting hundreds of people, including participants at the six-day forum, and has therefore made sure 90% of the participants are coming from the places where the 2.6 billion people in the world without safe sanitation and hygiene live, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and China. According to them, “this will foster a dynamic and interactive atmosphere for South-South knowledge exchange and partnership building.”

WSSCC itself is sponsoring a large number of participants from many developing countries through its Bursary Fund process with support from SHARE and UNICEF.

These include Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, India, Iran, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

September 14, 2011

Sénégal: Une nouvelle station d’épuration pour éradiquer l’inondation sur l'Autoroute

Les autorités veulent des solutions durables à la récurrence de l’inondation de la RN1. Il est ressorti de la réunion présidée par le Premier ministre, Souleymane Ndéné Ndiaye, l’intensification des pompages dans le moins terme, la restauration des voies d’écoulement et la construction d’une station d’évacuation dans le long terme.
Le chef du gouvernement a présidé, ce Mardi 13 Septembre 2011, une réunion sur la libération de la Rn1 envahie par les eaux. Il a été retenu, dans l’urgence, d’intensifier les opérations de pompage. Le cumul des débits des pompes et des électropompes est déjà porté à 5000 mètres cubes par heure. « L’Etat a pris la décision de renforcer le dispositif de pompage.

Le ministère de l’Intérieur a déployé une capacité de 5000 mètres cubes pour pomper les eaux », informe le directeur de la Protection civile, Mar Lô. Dans le long terme, une nouvelle station sera construite dans cette zone pour régler de façon durable l’inondation de la Rn1 et des quartiers environnants.

August 16, 2011

3.43 Million Sierra Leoneans lack adequate sanitation

3.43 Million Sierra Leoneans lack adequate sanitation, says…Minister of Energy

By Mustapha Sesay

mustaphasesay@yahoo.com

The Minister of Energy and Water Resources Professor Ogunade Davidson has said in Freetown that 3.43 million people in Sierra Leone do not have adequate sanitation in facilities, of whom live in urban areas. The lack of safe water, proper hygiene is major causes of sickness and death in the country. The Minister was speaking at the conference room of the Ministry of Information briefing the press about water policies that have been put together by the Ministry.

August 4, 2011

L’AFRIQUE POURRAIT SE TROUVER A UN TOURNANT FACE A LA CRISE DE L’ASSAINISSEMENT

L’Afrique pourrait enfin se trouver à un tournant face à la crise de l’assainissement disent les groupes de la société civile ANEW et FAN, l’ONG WaterAid et le WSSCC, ainsi que la campagne End Water Poverty participant à AfricaSan 3 à Kigali.
Ces commentaires sont émis à la fin de la conférence dont l’objectif est de « replacer l’Afrique sur les rails pour atteindre les Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement (OMD) pour l’assainissement ». Ces groupes sont d’avis que le haut niveau de participation et l’engagement démontrés par les gouvernements africains nous permettent d’être optimistes.
Cependant le défi reste immense. Les données présentées montrent que le Rwanda – pays d’accueil de la conférence – fait partie des seuls quatre pays en Afrique subsaharienne qui sont en voie d’atteindre la cible sur l’assainissement. 584 millions de personnes en Afrique n’ont pas accès à un assainissement amélioré et les plus pauvres sont 18 fois plus susceptibles de pratiquer la défécation à l’air libre.
L’assainissement a toujours été l’OMD le plus négligé et le plus éloigné de l’atteinte de la cible, avec trop peu de financement, ressources diverses et volonté politique pour répondre à la crise. Or la conférence a connu un niveau de participation inégalé auparavant de la part de délégations de 42 pays africains. Ces dernières ont inclus les ministres de l’eau, de la santé, de l’environnement et de l’éducation. Les leaders de la société civile ont également joué un rôle essentiel et se sont engagés à travailler avec AMCOW (Conseil Ministériel Africain sur l’Eau) pour effectuer le suivi des progrès, identifier les défis et rechercher des solutions conjointes. Plus critique encore, les pays se sont pour la première fois mis d’accord sur des plans d’action détaillés pour répondre aux blocages clés au progrès.
Cependant le défi unique le plus important identifié pendant la conférence est le financement. Il y a eu peu ou pas de progrès dans l’atteinte de la cible d’investissement reconnue de 0.5% du PIB.
« Si l’Afrique veut avoir la moindre chance de revenir sur la bonne voie dans l’atteinte des OMD pour l’assainissement, ces plans et stratégies ont besoin d’un financement urgent », dit Lydia Zigomo, Cheffe de la région Afrique de l’Est de WaterAid, « Mais les ministres africains des finances et les bailleurs de fonds ont une opportunité de taille pour combler cet écart de financement au travers du partenariat Sanitation and Water for All (assainissement et eau pour tous). Des engagements financiers concrets de la part des deux parties sont essentiels pour sortir des millions d’Africains de la pauvreté, en particulier les femmes et les filles, et leur permettre de vivre leurs vies dans la dignité ».
Fin
Pour plus d’information veuillez contacter : meltompkins@wateraid.org +44 (0)779 328 2764, 250 (0)784870389 ou tatiana.fedotova@wsscc.org +41 79 903 78 18.

August 4, 2011

Accès à l’eau potable : la Banque mondiale débloque 45 milliards pour le Niger

Le Projet eau et assainissement en milieu urbain (PEAMU) du Niger a bénéficié d’un crédit de 90 millions de dollars américains (45 milliards de francs CFA) de la Banque mondiale (BM), a appris l’APS, à Dakar.
Ce financement devra permettre de renforcer l’accès à l’eau potable et à l’assainissement pour tous les Nigériens et à un tarif acceptable, rapporte un communiqué de la Banque mondiale. Par ce financement, signale l’institution, ‘’un demi-million de personnes dans les villes de Niamey, Agadez, Arlit, Tahoua et dans 23 autres centres urbains secondaires auront un accès direct à l’eau courante’’.
Cet approvisionnement sera effectué avec l’extension du réseau et l’augmentation des capacités de distribution et de stockage de l’eau ainsi qu’avec les connections domestiques et les bornes-fontaines publiques.
La construction de milliers d’ouvrages de collecte d’eaux usées permettra aussi d’offrir des services améliorés d’assainissement à 235.000 personnes dans les quartiers et à 60.000 élèves dans les écoles, ajoute le communiqué.
Cet accord a été signé par Ousmane Diagana, directeur des opérations de la BM pour le Niger, et Boubacar Cissé, ministre nigérien du Plan, de l’Aménagement du territoire et du Développement Communautaire, en vue d’exécuter le projet.

July 22, 2011

Leo Atakpu leads ANEW

 

The African Civil Society Network for Water and Sanitation (ANEW), has appointed new set of officers with Nigerian Leo Atakpu emerging as the Chair of the Board.

Read more: http://assemblyonline.info/?p=8194

 

July 22, 2011

Africasan3: Governments fail to make commitments

The Africa Sanitation and Hygiene Conference (Africasan3) www.africasan3.com ended yesterday in Kigali, Rwanda, with Africa national governments reaffirming their commitments to implementing the eThekwini Declaration (2008).

The 42 African Ministers of water, health, environment and education that participated in Africasan3, also agreed on detailed action plans to address key blockages to progress in the sanitation sector, but failed to make financial commitments on allocating 0.5% of their national GDP to sanitation.

Read More: http://assemblyonline.info/?p=8215

 

July 20, 2011

Ecological Sanitation: Human excreta as nutrients

Human excreta contains valuable nutrients, and these nutrients can be used in valuable ways to solve accelerate group of valuable tress and crops.

-Peter Morgan on ‘Ecological Sanitation’ Presentation at Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) Working Group 5 meeting during the Africa Sanitation and Hygiene Conference 3 (Africasan3) www.africasan3.com . July 17, 2011

 

July 19, 2011

CSOs call on African Governments to implement the Right to Water and Sanitation

Babatope Babalobi in Kigali, Rwanda

Representatives of civil society organizations in Africa have called on National Governments to urgently implement the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

Rising from a one day Civil Society Forum in Kigali, Rwanda as part of the on going Africa Sanitation and Hygiene Conference 3 (Africasan3), http://www.africasan3.com,  the civil society organizations organized under platform of the  African Civil Society Network for Water and Sanitation (ANEW)  also called for a clear timetable and measureable targets for achieving expenditure of 0.5% of GDP on sanitation (as per the eThekwini Declaration); separate budget lines for sanitation spending in national budgets;  and better targeting of resources towards countries with low sanitation coverage and a higher burden of sanitation related diseases.

May 26, 2011

WASH-JN Le west african wash journalist network (réseau ouest africain des journalistes wash), est né.

Impulser une dynamique aux réseaux nationaux et contribuer à une visibilité de la problématique du secteur eau, hygiène et assainissement dans nos pays respectifs tel est la mission première du nouveau réseau créé.

Une cinquantaine de journalistes venus de la sous région (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinée Conakry, Libéria, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sénégal, Sierra Léone, Togo, du Ghana) et du Cameroun ont pris part à l’assemblée constitutive.

Rencontre organisée avec l’appui de la coalition WaterAid et du Conseil de concertation pour l’approvisionnement en eau et l’assainissement (WSSCC), deux ONG partenaires œuvrant dans le domaine.

L’objectif de la rencontre

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May 9, 2011

Communique issued at the 2nd General Assembly of the West Africa WASH Journalists Network (WASH-JN)


  1. We, Water and Sanitation Journalists working in Television, Newspapers, Radio and Online media  in fourteen West African Countries- Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cote d Ivoire, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger,  and Guinea.
  2. Gathered at  our second Annual General meeting in Accra, Ghana, Wed 27th-Fri 29th April 2011.
  3. Concerned that West African countries like several other sub Saharan countries are off track towards meeting the WASH related MDG goals and other targets.
  4. Aware that the poor in rural, semi urban and urban areas lack access to WASH services the most.; and this has adverse effects on the socio economic and health status.
  5. Aware of the need for all stakeholders to take actions towards increasing the access of  our people to water and sanitation services
  6. Conscious of our role as media practitioners to uphold the responsibility of the government to the people

Hereby resolved as follows:

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