In a bid to restore water supply in all major towns across the country, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO), has provided thousands of residents in Makeni with pipe-born water with funds from the allocated government subvention.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony held at the SALWACO Compound in Makeni, the Acting Director General of SLAWCO, Victor Hastings-Spaine, said “we single handedly raised Le1.8b from the meager government subvention to fund the construction of the Makeni treatment plant and Konsho pumping station without any donor assistance.”
He said Makeni has been facing acute shortage of water in the past particularly in the dry season but with SALWACO’s commitment and determination, they were able to restore water supply for residents with an expansion plan.
“We have installed a tank of 3500 gallons that will be used to supply pipe-born water to residents on a daily basis in a bid to discourage the use of unsafe hand dug wells, streams and rivers that are often contaminated with diseases.”
The Acting Director General of SALWACO stated: “I am an action Director General ready to implement Government’s Agenda for Change” but advised residents to responsibly handle the taps as their own and also encouraged users of SALWACO facilities to promptly pay their water rates.
Abdul Latif Musa of LATCO Joint Experts Company managed by Lebanese nationals said the company had implemented the project according to the contract agreement with a view to contribute to national development.
As an alumni of St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni, Latif Musa said “we did everything possible to complete the project and to also provide water supply for the School.”
The contractor went on “the water we are supplying is 7 miles away from Makeni but with the construction of a dam processing and a treatment plant residents are assured of using safe water to drink and for other domestic use.”
Latif assured SALWACO and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources that LATCO Joint Experts is currently implementing similar water projects at Mile 91 and Yonibana, hoping that residents will soon get water supply.
The Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Prof. Ogulande Davidson while delivering the keynote address said Government’s Agenda for Change is for people to manage projects accurately so that others can benefit from it, stating that pipe-born water has been restored in Makeni after years by SALWACO’.
The Minister expressed gratitude to the contractor for implementing the project according to the agreement, and refuted recent press reports linking him to the contract “Government will continue to work with responsible contractors for the implementation of other projects.
He also encouraged residents to pay their bills to ensure sustainable water supply with periodic maintenances on the machines and production cost.
Prof. Davidson confirmed that the ADB has promised to fund water projects for Bo, Makeni and Kenema and also promised to provide continued electricity and street lights for Makeni residents.
The Resident Minister North, Alie D Kamara who chaired the ceremony, commended SALWACO for providing water for his people. He said ‘water is life’ and expressed dissatisfaction over the poor performance of the Lungi water project.
Representatives of the Makeni Council and the Paramount Chief including cross-section of residents, commended SLAWACO for restoring water supply to Makeni and promised to judiciously utilize the facilities. A conducted tour of the treatment plant and tank formed a high point of the handing over ceremony.
By Saidu Bah