Posts tagged ‘Sierra Leone’

November 6, 2012

Water scarcity may hit ekiti state, Nigeria

Adesina Wahab, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Despite the promise by the Ekiti State Government  in South West Nigeria to lay 20 kilometres of water pipes in Ado-Ekiti this year to boost water supply in the state capital and having budgeted N1.2 billion for the water sector this year, most residents of the town and other major towns in the state are still faced with acute water supply and are afraid that the situation could worsen in the coming dry season.

The fear of the residents is coming against the fact that the state has seven major dams, most of which are in deplorable condition.

The promise by the government early in the year to lay 20 kilometres of water pipes in Ado-Ekiti, investigation has revealed, is still in the work less than two months to the end of the year.

Late January this year, the Special Adviser on Infrastructure and Public Utilities to the Governor, Mr. Kayode Jegede, told newsmen at a public forum that the state government would spend N18 million on consultancy and N12 on logistics in its bid to find a lasting solution to water shortage in the state.

Ekiti state Governor, Kayode fAYEMI

He had promised then that the new water pipes to be laid before the end of the year would help in getting water to more homes in the town.

However, nothing is happening as residents of most areas of Ado-Ekiti namely Adebayo, Iworoko Road, Basiri, Oke-Ila, Ajilosun among others have to rely on wells, boreholes and other sources to get their daily water supply.

Badly hit by the inadequate water supply are towns in Ekiti South and Central Senatorial Districts of which Ado-Ekiti is number one.

Ado-Ekiti, which is supposed to be served by, water from Ureje Dam, is still battling with inadequate water supply and the few public fetching points are as dry as ever.

At Ureje Water Works in Ado-Ekiti, officials of the Water Corporation are blaming the situation on paucity of funds, inadequate supply of electricity, lack of boosters to make water flow to designated areas, old water pipes that do burst frequently etc as factors hindering their performance.

Findings showed  that it is only Ero Dam, located in Ewu-Ekiti, Ekiti North Senatorial District, that is producing at nearly half its capacity, thereby able to supply water intermittently to few town in the zone.

However, the residents of the state were taken aback last week when the state government said it would start to install meters in public water fetching points before the end of the year to regulateusage of pipe-borne water in the state

The Special Adviser to the Governor, Kayode Jegede, said the metering system would commence in Igogo and Ikosu communities in Moba Local Government Area of the state as pilots for the programmes.

The two towns are served by Ero Dam.

The governor’s aide said Ekiti State would benefit from the European Union (E.U) financing of water projects in 2013 alongside Plateau and Adamawa states.

Commenting on the development, a community leader in Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Femi Omolusi, described the water situation in the state as shocking.

According to him, “it is unimaginable that the state which has seven dams is still experiencing water shortage and people are living in the fear of water-borne diseases. Remember that only a couple of months ago, the state government raised the alarm of cholera outbreak in some towns and when the dry season sets in, where will people have access to water.”

 

The story is published under the pro poor WASH stories project implemented by the Water and Sanitation Media Network Nigeria, with the support of West Africa WASH Media Network, WaterAid, and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.

February 23, 2012

Millions lack access to WASH services in Liberia, Sierra Leone


                                                     By MUSTAPHA SESAY Mustaphasesay25@yahoo.com

What will the World be in the not too distant future if modalities are not put in place by World Leaders, Policy Makers, and Agencies towards  the deteriorating  situations of millions of deprived communities affected by lack of access to quality and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene?

As the adage goes, ‘when I see, I feel the plight of the situation, when I hear, I recall and when I touch, I am moved by the reality on the ground.’ This is exactly the situation of most slum communities and urban areas where the population exceeds the basic social amenities.

Taking a closer look at two post war countries; Sierra Leone and Liberia, one is bound to compare and contrast the deplorable slum situation between the two countries.

POOR SANITATION AT KROO BAY

One common feature is that Kroo Bay in Sierra Leone and West Point in Monrovia were places that housed thousands of internally displaced that fled the rural areas for the cities during the civil wars that ravaged the two countries. It was during that period that population explosion took place in urban areas there by ruining most of the facilities. After the war, most of the youths refused going back to their original places as some took up petty trading and established make shift structures as they had nothing to go back to.

MAKE SHIFT TOILETS AT WEST POINT

Despite promises by Governments of these countries to relocate these slum dwellers to safer and conducive places, yet this has not been feasible due to economic and political reasons.

Speaking to some elders and politicians, some of the factors responsible for the halting of such venture is that it is difficult to relocate a population of over thirty thousand to a site as the cost involved is so exorbitant as huge funds are needed for the relocated site to have basic facilities to prevent the people returning to their previous places.

Further more funds are not always available to ensure that the empty spaces left behind are utilized for developmental purposes. As a result, the criminals will utilize such places as their hide out that will pose security threat to the society.

Another worrisome issue discussed by most of the people in these slum communities is that most have stayed in those localities with children going to schools, so it becomes very difficult to move over to a new site.

Notwithstanding some of these views,  It is becoming clear that life in these two communities are plagued with diseases, pollution, environmental hazards as a result of the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene for the growing population.

On the area of sanitation, Kroo Bay has a stream flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, most of the house hold waste, and toilets are thrown into this stream. During the day children and pigs are seeing washing in the stream thus water born diseases are easily contracted

In the rainy season, the whole area is flooded as the water from the city is emptied into this area before getting into the ocean.  With this, there has been reported cases of flooding and loss of life and properties

Crime rate is high in this community simply because there is no proper building planning making it prone to fire disaster.

Unlike West Point   located on a peninsula  on the  Atlantic Ocean between the Mesurado and Saint Paul rivers that is resided by people from 14 West African countries .It is worth noting that this area is the main source of fish  but it is disheartening to see the deplorable nature of the community with a high rate illiteracy and without basic sanitation and health facilities. To worsen the situation, the community cannot boast of a single government clinic and a school to educate the children of basic hygiene and sanitation.

As a way of getting the view of the Commissioner of the area Sylvester Larno, WASH facilities in the town is one of the worst in the capital of Liberia.

Dilating on sanitation issue, Kroo Bay in Sierra Leone is far better than as compared to West Point, the reason being that some of the houses have toilets and there is a public toilet that is decent unlike West Point with a few make shift toilets. And even with that, only those who can afford money will have to make use of the structures while the poor practice open defecation to the disadvantage of the population. There are times youths do clean their areas and the major street making it accessible to most of the social facilities in the city.

Pure drinking water is accessible as tap water and wells could be visible, while at West point, it is the opposite as residents have to walk miles, buy plastic water or drink the unhygienic water that is closer to defecation centres.

SCRAMBLE  FOR WATER IN SLUM COMMUNITY

Some common features about slum communities are that they characteristic of overcrowding that are prone to epidemic diseases. This in return will affect the health status of the population. There is no privacy and most of the children grow up with bad attitudes in life. During the rains, flooding is the order of the day in these areas closer to the sea.

Notwithstanding these menace, improving sanitation, water and hygienic facilities will curtail the spread of diseases. There is need for regular sanitization and awareness programmes on these issues. Some of the youths should be provided with skill training jobs so that with livelihood, they can look out for decent places to stay.

February 22, 2012

Rural Women and Children struggle for safe clean drinking water

                                      By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya, Sierra Leone

Climate change or the unfriendly activities of human beings on earth and the environment may be the result of acute shortage of clean and safe drinking water in Sierra Leone and other parts of the continent, causing millions of people including children and women suffer on a daily basis.

The situation of acute shortage of clean water has been experienced in the city and the provincial areas where less concentration is normally given to communities on the part of water and other social basic amenities. In Sierra Leone, the problemImages of acute shortage of clean and safe drinking water are not only occurring in the deprived communities in the provinces but those communities in the outskirt of the city as well.

Water is an essential commodity and the international community is putting more efforts to it to ensure human beings access safe and clean drinking water.

On September 30th 2010, the UN Human Rights Council adopted by consensus Resolution 64/292 the human right to water and sanitation affirming that water and sanitation are human rights. During this historic meeting in Geneva, the UN affirmed by consensus that the right to water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living, which is contained in several international human rights treaties.
Standard times environmental reporter, Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya travels to communities surrounding the capital city of Freetown and those in the Kambia District and get a first hand information on how the urban, rural and children are struggling to get safe and clean drinking water for their families.
I first travel to Kambia District, a distance of about 150 miles. From Kambia Town, I proceed to rural communities in a village called 15 Mile in the Tonkoh Limba Chiefdom, exactly 15 miles distance from Kambia Town. The village stretches northwards of the chiefdom and it is about 3 miles from the beginning of the Chiefdom. Over 1000 people live here.
There is no community center in this village in case there is a need for social activities or community meetings and gatherings. I spend a night in here and electricity is not something to think about in the village. When a vehicle passes through the village at night, children and adults normally glad when they see the brightness of the vehicle. Absolutely, there is no development here and parents who love their children to attend school send them to other villages like Mile 14 and Sella Kafta before they can get basic primary education.

Like in other communities in the Tonkoh Limba Chiefdom and other parts of the country, there is no water borne pipes or dug water well in the village. The over one thousand people in this village (children, youths and women) must walk two and half miles to fetch water for their daily use. In the morning after a stressful night in a strange village, I proceeded to the community only source of water called Kamaworni with Madam Mabinty Kamara and a class nine year old school pupil.
The water well of about 50 metres round is surrounded by trees and the water level is low and one must go very close to fetch a bucket of water and be careful not to fell into the well. In normal cases, clean and safe drinking water is usually colourless, but this is not the situation here in Kamaworni water site. The community drinking water is colorful and if you are a stranger, you will not have the audacity to take a bucket of water and wash your feet. But the community people who are used to this because of no alternative will do that and drink with confidence.

The clayed water is a host to toads, snakes and other water animals. If you are not used to see these things, you will be scared seeing snakes, toads and other animals dancing and playing in the water while children and women trying to fetch buckets of water for the day’s use. I saw stinky mud which was producing unfavorable smell from the water.
Mabinty Kamara who is married to a husband of this village and now 20 years since she came into the 15 Mile community said they have been facing with such situation of fetching filthy water for their homes. Madam Mabinty knows the water is filthy and not suitable for human beings to drink and do other domestic works. She said there is no alternative for them and “either we fetch clay water and allow it to sentiment for use or we do not get water for our homes at all costs”.
The drinking of the filthy water normally result to sicknesses for the community people and Madam Mabinty said “we do normally sick and because the God almighty is with us, some of these sicknesses are cured by the clay water after persistent drinking”.
Pa Ceray Sorie Kamara is one of the elders of the 15 Mile community.

He also reflected on the past how they have been suffering from the village without clean and safe drinking water for themselves and their children. Pa Kamara said “we have been drinking this water for some time now and we are use to this. We will continue to use to the sad situation if there is no assistance from NGOs, the government of Sierra Leone or any philanthropist individual or institution”.
Pa Sorie is not in favour of his community being left from development by NGOs and the government especially on development concerning water and sanitation. He said “the NGOs like Action Aid in the past ignore them and pass through their community to go and dig community dug-water well taps in other villages.

Pa Sorie adds “they pass us here as if we don’t want water wells. I don’t know if it is because the village is small and even the fact is the village is small, we are still people who need basic needs and clean water”.
After a stressful journey in 15 Mile Village in Kambia, I boarded a vehicle and back in Freetown for another assignment in the Tree Planting community in Leicester Road. The Tree Planting community is overlooking the capital city of Freetown. Madam Adama Fatima in the Tree Planting community in Freetown shares the same experience with Madam Mabinty Kamara who lives in the 15 Mile village.
Madam Adama also don’t use pipe-borne water for her home but will always take her bucket and looks towards a filthy water stream to fetch water for her children and for domestic purposes. She said they have been suffering at the community with no taps to easily fetch water and added that “any day I and my children must come to this filthy and static stream to fetch water.”
The Leicester Road community closer to the Western Area Peninsular Forest is also suffering from acute shortage of water. The watersheds which are the main sources for supplying water to the community and other parts of the city are dry-off because of massive cutting down of trees for settlement.

About two years ago, the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) dished out funds over one hundred and fifty thousand Leones for community gravity water taps but these proposed taps never worked for the community. Probably, some of the community elders shared the money among themselves leaving a host of residents to continue struggling for the clean and safe drinking water.
Although there are no known plans set by Non-Governmental Organizations and possibly the government of Sierra Leone to undertake pipe-borne or dug water taps in various parts of the communities overlooking the city and the provincial communities, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources while planting trees recently at the Moku Hills in the Western Area Peninsular Forests Reserve said they recognize that people are suffering to get clean and safe drinking water.

The Minister said as a responsible government, they will ensure they provide water for people in the country.
The only time the communities both in the provinces and some parts of the city can make use of clean and safe drinking water is during the mid of the raining season and if this situation is not corrected and assistance provided, communities in the provinces especially 15 Mile will continue to suffer and struggle to get clean and safe drinking water for their various uses.

February 15, 2012

Afrique de l’Ouest de l’eau et l’assainissement des journalistes se réunissent à Monrovia

Delegates in a group picture

                                                                                                                   By Babatope Babalobi

L’assemblée générale annuelle (AGA) de l’eau et l’assainissement Afrique de l’Ouest journalistes Réseau(WASH-JN) www.wash-jn.net a débuté à Monrovia, au Libéria, hier.


La réunion rassemble 17 représentants des plates-formes nationales de journalistes qui l’eau etl’assainissement dans 14 pays d’Afrique occidentale et le Nigeria, le Sénégal, le Mali, le Bénin, le Togo, le Ghana, le Niger, la Côte d’Ivoire, le Libéria, la Guinée, le Cameroun, la Sierra Leone et la Guinée Bissau.
Haut de l’ordre du jour de l’Assemblée Générale qui dure une semaine est un examen des progrès réalisés jusqu’à présent par l’organisme régional depuis sa création en 2010, discussion sur le plan de travail 2012, et les mains sur la formation sur la façon dont la participation des journalistes peuvent utiliser la nouvellemédias à rendre compte du secteur de mieux.
Se félicitant des délégués à la réunion, chef d’équipe de WaterAid au Libéria, M. Apollos Nwafor a souligné la nécessité “pour les médias pour influencer positivement les gouvernements nationaux pour relever les défisdans le secteur grâce à l’action politique, le soutien financier et une meilleure gestion du programme.”
Prenant également la parole aux délégués, Mohammed Abdul-Nashiru, Directeur Régional de l’Advocacy,WaterAid Afrique de l’Ouest a dit: “la valeur du réseau va être déterminée par la qualité des histoires que ses membres sur les questions WASH publié, en particulier les histoires que se concentrer sur les défisauxquels sont confrontés les pauvres à accéder aux services d’eau et d’assainissement “.
«Nous devons amener les médias à prôner que le gouvernement devrait consacrer davantage de ressourcesdans le secteur et aussi la priorité au secteur”, a déclaré Abdul-Nashiru.

January 12, 2012

Concours de reportages sur l’Eau et l’Assainissement WASH-JN WASH

Le Réseau des Journalistes Ouest Africains sur l’eau et l’assainissement (WASH-JN) est un réseau régional de journalistes couvrant les questions d’approvisionnement en eau et l’assainissement pour les divers médias de masse de l’Ouest 13 pays africains, le Bénin, le Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, le Ghana, Guinée, Libéria, Mali, Niger, Nigéria, Sénégal, Sierra Leone et le Togo.

Son objectif stratégique est d’augmenter la production de reportages convaincants sur l’approvisionnement en eau, assainissement et hygiène (WASH) se concentrant en particulier sur les perspectives des populations pauvres afin de parvenir à une attention accrue de tous les citoyens et les décideurs sur ces questions.

Vers l’accomplissement de cet objectif, le WASH-JN invite les journalistes à soumettre des reportages  convaincants portant sur WASH pour publication sur le blog du WASH-JN-www.wash jn.net.

Des honoraires seront payés pour les meilleurs reportages qui seront publiés sur le blog.

Termes de Référence
1. Les reportages peuvent être au format texte, vidéo, photographique ou audio.
2. Les auteurs des reportages doivent s’inscrire sur le blog www.wash-jn.net pour soumettre leur production pour publication. Vous pouvez également visiter le site http://washjournalists.wordpress.com/wp-login.php et vous connecter en utilisant “washjn” comme nom d’utilisateur et “CEDEAO” comme mot de passe.

3. Une fois connecté, cliquez sur “Add New” sous “Post”, et soumettez vos reportages. Pour matériel audio et vidéo, vous pouvez soumettre l’URL sous lequel il a été publié.

4. Le nom complet de l’auteur et son adresse électronique doit être clairement inclus dans tous les reportages soumis.

5. Les reportages peuvent être présentés en anglais ou en français

6. Les auteurs des reportages doivent avoir les droits d’auteurs complets sur leur production

7. Les reportages doivent avoir été édités et peuvent avoir déjà été publiés.

Les reportages soumis doivent l’être dans l’une des deux catégories suivantes :
a. Catégorie A: Reportages WASH Pro-pauvres
Cette catégorie concerne les reportages qui mettent en lumière les questions WASH général, y compris l’accès, l’équité et l’inclusion, la transparence, l’égalité des sexes, mécanisme de financement, et la bonne gouvernance. Les travaux qui concernent les groupes marginalisés, les plus vulnérables et les populations urbaines pauvres dans les bidonvilles dans toute l’Afrique occidentale seront très bien accueillis.

Cette catégorie est soutenue par Water Aid en Afrique occidentale pour l’approvisionnement en eau et l’assainissement

b. Catégorie B: Reportages sur la transparence dans le secteur WASH
Peuvent participer pour cette catégorie des reportages qui mettent en valeur et font la promotion de la transparence, la responsabilisation et la bonne gouvernance dans le secteur WASH.

Cette catégorie est soutenue par Water Integrity Network (WIN).

9. Cet appel est ouvert à tous les journalistes dans la région Afrique de l’Ouest. Cependant, les journalistes participants seront tenus d’adhérer à la plate-forme nationale WASH dans leur pays s’ils n’en sont pas déjà membres. Les formulaires d’adhésion sont disponibles sur demande auprès de: Babalobi@yahoo.com
10. Tous les articles publiés seront examinés chaque semaine par un jury composé de représentants du WSSCC, WIN, et le WASH-JN et les auteurs des gagnants seront annoncés chaque semaine et recevront par transfert d’argent les montants indiqués ci-dessous:

a.       Reportages WASH Pro-pauvres: 50 $ par gagnant

b.      Transparence dans le secteur WASH: 25 euros par gagnant

11. La décision du jury est définitive et ses membres peuvent choisir un nombre illimité  d’entrées, donc de gagnants par semaine.

12. En outre, l’auteur du reportage qui sera jugé le meilleur dans la catégorie « WASH Pro-pauvres » au mois de Janvier 2012 sera parrainé pour assister à la 6ème Forum Mondial de l’Eau en France en Mars 2012. Le soutien financier pour ce parrainage est assuré par le Water Aid en Afrique occidentale pour l’approvisionnement en eau et l’assainissement.

13.Ceci est également une invitation pour les journalistes à soumettre des articles pour le Prix des médias WASH, http://www.wsscc.org/media/wash-media-awards/2011-2012, les gagnants seront parrainés pour participer à la Semaine Mondiale de l’Eau à Stockholm.

14. Pour tout renseignement, envoyez un courriel à: Babalobi@yahoo.com

October 11, 2011

Shahrukh Khan is India’s WASH Ambassador

Edmund Smith-Asante, Mumbai, India

Leading Indian actor, Shah Rukh Kha n, has been named Indian Goodwill Ambassador for Sanitation and Hygiene.

Shah Rukh Khan is joining a campaign to ensure greater access to sanitation by the world communities that currently lack access, half of which are resident in Indian.

Khan was named a global Ambassador for Sanitation and Hygiene as part of a United Nations-backed campaign to tackle diseases such as diarrhoea, which is the second-biggest killer of children worldwide, said a WSSCC official yesterday during the opening ceremony of the Global forum on Sanitation holding in Mumbai, India.

Accepting the offer, the Bollywood actor  regarded as the King of Bollywood, (Indian’s film Industry) said, “Toilets for all will make India and the world a healthier and cleaner place, particularly for poor women, girls and others at the margins of our societies,”

Quoting Mahatma Ghandhi, he urged practitioners to “Be the change that you want to see”, and expressed confidence that he would use the new position to ensure greater access for the Indians poor and fight inequalities in the provision of sanitation and hygiene services.

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.

July 20, 2011

Africasan 3, Kigali, Rwanda photos

WASH Journalists from West Africa and Rwanda in a group photograph during the Africasan3

July 20, 2011

Sierra Leone: Alumni donate well to school


By Mustapha Sesay

mustaphasesay2007@yahoo.com

One major factor that has been affecting the peace, health and agricultural activities in schools in Sierra Leone, including the city of Freetown, is the provision of quality water in most school compounds.

The situation has been so acute that majority of the children leave the school compound without a cup of water to drink while others hardly wash their hands before eating.

July 20, 2011

Children and WASH crisis in Sierra Leone

 

By Mustapha Sesay

Mustaphasesay2007@yahoo.com

The need for pure drinking water and a safe environment has been a major concern in developing countries as it adversely affects the growth and development of children. As a way of tackling this issue there is the need for all to come up with diverse strategies of making the environment friendly with affordable cleaning water for marginalized societies. In most African states, governments and donor organizations continue to find it very difficult to effectively provide quality water to meet the needs of the growing populace.

June 3, 2011

Sierra Leone: WASH situation in slums

 

The writer, Alie Sonta Kamara is a member of the Water and Sanitation Media Network in Sierra Leone

 

Life is the precious gift given unto man and other living things on Planet Earth by the Ever Divine Creator. Life being lived has a great connection to the surrounding nature, more so in creating and ensuring a habitable settlement in the form of communities, which if not properly monitored will pose serious health hazards.

This is very true of certain communities in the world today. Such horrific scenes are apparently being evidenced in certain localities in Sierra Leone, like the Bomeh Dumpsite, Kroo Bay, and Mabela where poverty, hardship and very unhygienic and uninhabitable conditions are quite apparent, with poor eating habits, unclean drinking water, offensive stench of defecations in the open and many more horrendous images constituting dangerous impediments to the society as a whole as well as individual human life.

Freetown is populated with people from every corner of the country.  Finding a healthy abode in Freetown has become increasingly difficult, with the high cost of rent very scary leading to many forced to live in shanty communities so as to be within the ambits of the city where they believe they can make life worthwhile. These communities lack many life-boosting facilities and thus do not match the required standards of human habitation.

May 26, 2011

WaterAid promotes access to water in Sierra Leone

By Mustapha Sesay

Mustaphasesay2007@yahoo.com

Access to pure and affordable water to billions of people in deprived communities is being viewed by many as a key to development as lack of it is the primary cause of hunger, disease and poverty in most developing nations. Our daily and social activities can never be completed without the effective use of pure water.

With this as a watchword, there is the need for all to come together to raise awareness and influence policy makers on their fight to make water affordable to the billions dying due to poor water and sanitation related diseases.

This problem is acute in desert areas and West Africa where in urban areas and remote villages this issue is a thorn in the flesh and deserves the attention of all agencies working towards enhancing affordable and clean environment for all by 2015.

In West Africa, one organization that has taken the lead to help in awareness raising and striving towards this vision is the West Africa

Water Aid WAWA; an international non-governational organization working with journalists in the sub-region.

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