The Clerk of Works, formerly Estate Officer of Fourah Bay College (FBC), Francis Davies has intimated that an estimated cost of $5M is needed for an improved water system at the College.
The water, earlier meant for a population of eight hundred (800) is now been shared by over three thousand people living in the entire Fourah Bay College Community.
The water which is supplied to the College is collected from Gloucester and later treated at its collecting point; from where it is distributed to the various tanks running to the various hostels, offices and residences. There is always shortage of water during the dries which is coincidentally the period students are on campus, which makes the demand for water very high.
Majority of the students at the College say they do not drink the water as they referred to it as typhoid water. Water crisis at FBC had earlier posed serious troubles at the College. Students have staged violent demonstrations against the College Authorities on several occasions, with the residence of the Principal been the usual target to be attacked. This notwithstanding, water crisis has continued unabated and unresolved.
The Clerk of Works affirmed that the supply of water to the College was grossly inadequate considering the fact that the population at the entire community has risen sharply. He stated that despite the 2.25M gallons of water that is the storage capacity, “it is grossly inadequate”.
He explained that the estate office of FBC did a survey in 2006 with Guma Valley Water Company and they came out with a document titled ‘FBC Water Improve Document’. He lamented that the former University Chancellor, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah requested a copy of the document prior to his visit to China; promising that he would discuss details of the document with the Chinese for possible funding.
Since then, he went on; nothing was heard about the issue.
The estimated money needed for the improved water system, which includes maintenance of existing tanks; construction of extra storage tanks; new treatment plants; replacement of pipes and the construction of a new pumping station, is about $5M.
This amount, he stressed, was needed at the time the survey was made. “The cost now is far above that amount,” he stated.
He then pointed out that pressure from the surrounding communities on the small supply of water to the College is a cause for concern.
The Estate Department of the College is again faced with another daunting task as College reopens. By Ishmael Bayoh