Giving a statement about the purpose of her visit in Sierra Leone Mary Renwick water resource specialist yesterday disclosed that less than 30% of the population of Sierra Leone have access to safe water.
“From her day to day experiences in Freetown and other rural areas access to water is really sympathetic and the situation has been exacerbated because of the mass population growth in the urban areas as a result of the war.”
Adding that lack of access to safe drinking water is the major cause of disease, and it is a huge contributor that nearly 30% of the kids children die before they turn five.
Lack of access to safe drinking water and water for livelihood also have a huge and disproportionate impact on women and this you can see with boys around town hauling water and spending hours of the day searching for water.
During this visit which is being sponsored by the United States Embassy, Dr Renwick said that she has learnt more about the water situation in the country and that agriculture has a huge effect as during the dry season people haul water as agriculture is a means of livelihood.
She disclosed that during her tour “the dam has an impressive vicinity which is very good but one of the challenges Guma is faced with is that there are a lot of linkages and illegal connection in the city. There is need to improve management in terms of supply if we want to use water for health and wealth.”
Dr Mary Renwick who is a member of Winrock International said in their report on the multi use of water service for the poor disclosed that the basic idea of the work was that it was found out that water was produced for drinking basically or irrigation and that this is a mismatch between the way water services are provided since the poor need water for drinking, sanitation, to generate income, food security and for nutrition to produce food.
Because of this reason people refuse to pay for the services and some pay for the purpose they are not using and also people don’t want to pay for water services because there is a breakdown in the distribution line.
Speaking about the purpose of the multiple services of water Dr Renwick said that there is need to guide prospective investment in the water sector by assessing the relative cost, benefit and poverty impact of multiple-use approaches over single-use approaches.
Some of the recommendations she made was that there was need for the improvement of management and there is need to focus on service rather than infrastructure.
By Betty Milton