Forty-eight people from Kingtom and Aberdeen will receive financial compensation from Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) pilot project. On Friday, they signed their agreements in Aberdeen. GVWC with funds from Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) will construct distribution pipes, a metered water supply system and water kiosks in Aberdeen and Kingtom. Some of the pipes will have to disrupt residents. According to the agreement, GVWC are to ensure that affected occupants receive their compensation package, capacity development, monitoring and training, and also to allow affected occupant to remove all what they want from the premises before the start of construction. Those affected must also leave the premises; cede ownership of the property and should not request for additional compensation. GVWC’s Managing Director, Maada Kpenge, explained Guma do not have the capacity to supply water to Freetown adequately, however with the support from MCC. “We want to pilot this project in these two areas using Aberdeen and Kingtom as test sites so we can learn from the process and eventually replicate it throughout Freetown.”
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He said most of the water Guma supplies ends up wasted through spaghetti pipes. “We want to see how we can combat this wastage by installing proper distribution pipes, meters and setting up water kiosks for those who cannot afford a connection.” He further explained that those without connection would be metered “so we are able to monitor what comes in and what goes out. If there is a huge disparity, we know that there is a leakage somewhere that would prompt a thorough investigation. This is all meant to close the gap between the demand for water and supply,” he added. Millennium Challenge Coordinating Unit (MCCU) CEO, Ndeye Fatu Koroma, said “This is a pilot project. We want to ensure that the work is done successfully and attain the desired results in order for us to be able to improve water service delivery in Freetown.” Kingtom community person, Jay Alusine Kamara said Aberdeen and Kingtom are not the only areas in Freetown. “We are blessed to be chosen for this pilot phase. We need to make it a success so the project could be replicated throughout Freetown,” he emphasized. Aberdeen Chief, Tony Kennick said, “We all know the constraints and challenges we face having access to water. We send our kids to fetch water and they end up getting pregnant. This is for our own good. We need to ensure that this project succeeds,” he pointed out.
By Ophaniel Gooding
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