3.43 Million Sierra Leoneans lack adequate sanitation, says…Minister of Energy
By Mustapha Sesay
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.
The policy he noted will be looking at several areas which include the Freetown emergency project that will provide increase stand post, introduction of sub-main, the provision of chemicals. The India supported project he said will support four sites within Freetown, and the DFID supported projects will target the rural areas.
The Ministry will be also working with UNICEF to improve on laboratories to check on water that we drink whilst laboratories will be established through out the country to check waters, not only the ones in the country but all imported water. The policy Professor Ogunnade noted will increase water supply through out the country, noting that SALWACO will be mainly focused in the provincial areas.
Sierra Leone possesses enormous resource contained in major rivers in the country, and despite the abundance of water only 32 percent of the rural population has access to supply. The water supply coverage for urban settlement particularly in Freetown the capital city is 50 percent. The Ministry’s main function in the water sector is to develop the water policies and its development, provision of pipe borne water for domestic uses, provision of water for industrial production, provision of water for irrigation, ensure clean water for domestic purposes, environmental protection, rural water supply and work with others to provide adequate sanitation among others.
The Ministry Professor Ogunade noted will be also working with the private sector but warned that Government will not sell government properties. ‘Water resource management is limited and fragmented’ he said and the Ministry will be working with a number of stakeholders including the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Lands and Country Planning, the Ministry of Trade, and other departments and agencies. He called on journalists to send the message far and wide noting that from time to time the media will be briefed on developments in the Ministry