By Mustapha Sesay firstname.lastname@example.org
The government through its development partners, namely the African Development Bank (ADB) and the OPEC Fund for International Development has provided sixty-one million United States Dollars ($US61M) for the provision of water and sanitation in the Cities of BO, Kenema and Makeni that have been going through acute water shortages over the years.
The project which will be implemented by the Sierra Leone Water Company (SLAWACO) through the WATSAN project would be supervised by the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources.
While launching the project on behalf of President Koroma, the Minister of Information and Communication Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo noted that the project is part of the Government’s Agenda for Change. He noted that Government want to improve on the water and Sanitation of its citizens to enable them live a better life, stressing that the WATSAN Project would be provided to very part of the country so that citizens will have the right to water.
He pointed out that President Koroma’s Government is committed to the development of the country by improving on the life of the people.
The Minister of Energy and Water Resources Prof. Ogulande Davidson while making his statement at the project launching at the Miatta Conference centre in Freetown, reminded his audience of Government’s continued determination in ensuring that Sierra Leoneans live a decent life, adding that water is life and that the funds secured will be used to address the shortages of water and poor sanitation in the towns of BO, Kenema, Makeni.
He revealed that the Government is currently addressing water problems in Mile 91, Lunsar, Moyamba, Kabala, Port-Loko among others, but added that the metering of water and electricity will be put in place to ensure that Government generates revenue for its sustainability, adding that the plans are on the way to establish provincial water company so as to rapidly respond to the demands of the people of Sierra Leone.
He expressed thanks and appreciation to their donor’s partners for their support to government and urged them to continue the partnership.
A representative of the African Development Bank, Samuel Ofori Onwona called on Government to ensure that the project is sustainable and appealed to Sierra Leoneans to maintain the culture of maintenance, adding that the $US61m will be meaningless if the Government and beneficiaries fail to sustain the project, stressing that water is costly as it needs huge investment.
The Director General of Sierra Leone Water Company Mr. Victor Hasings-Spaine described the event as historic making, noting that with such funds, they will be able to achieve their effort of providing water and sanitation to the three cities in the country. He thanked the donor community and the Government for the funds and assured that the project will be implemented in accordance with the terms of reference.
The Project Coordinator, Dr. Joe Ben Davis revealed that the project will relocate affected communities and will be provided with an alternative livelihood, and that the Government has already provided more than one billion Leones for compensation to affected persons which he added is a clear demonstration of Government’s commitment to the full and successful implementation of the project.