Robamba village, some 100 metres from Hastings outside Freetown, has been sieving mud from their drinking water in the dry season for some 24 years, according to Adama Sesay a resident of the community.
In the rainy season, they wait for the sky to open its mouth or fetch water from the wells.
“Safe drinking water has been a priced commodity and we have resigned to that situation,” she says.
Adama and hundreds of other residents of Robamba now breathe a sigh of relief, as the central Bank of Sierra Leone officially handed ten stand pipes over to that community.
Scores of people came out of their homes to welcome officials of the bank and to officially participate in the commissioning of the taps.
According to its Public Relations Officer, Beresford Taylor, the bank spent over Le 30 million to get clean drinking water to the village from the Guma Valley dam, through pipes.
The Deputy Bank Governor, Mohamed Fofanah who officially handed the taps to the community said that as part of their corporate responsibility, they were happy to give back to the people.
Another bank official, Haja Ajaratou Mahdi stressed that they community themselves had agreed that pipe-borne water was their felt need.
She said the Bank was complementing the efforts of government to bring development to communities.
The Robamba Chief, Pa Alimamy Kargbo offered a litany of prayers and blessings. He expressed his community’s appreciation.
A village elder, Osman Kamara said they had always known the water they had relied on for many years was not pure and they had been looking helplessly at their kith and kin being claimed by cholera.
With potable water, he said, lives had been saved.