In his familiarization tour, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources Professor O.Davidson and entourage has visited two subunits at the Tower Hill, Freetown. The two subunits were the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) and Water Supply Division (WSD).
The team observed that there are encroachers on the SALWACO land, occupying the canteen and the garage but the owners have been given notice to vacate in September and December respectively.
The Minister said they should be served with a letter of reminder before the period of vacation copying himself and Secretary to the President.
The Minister and entourage were taken on a conducted tour indicating the portion owned by SALWACO /WSD and identified areas that might be possibly utilized in putting up a three storey structure that will house the whole Ministry. This was followed by an in house meeting in the Conference Room of Water Supply Division where the Chief Engineer, Wusum Koroma explained his activities, achievements and constraints.
Mr. Koroma said the WSD was established by 1963 Water Control Act and at present the component still has 42 Water Supply Schemes with 400 staff all over the country. He said some of the WSD facilities have been vandalized, but with the help of UNICEF they were able to engage on water data collection and the first draft of data collected will be out in September, 2009.
Highlighting some WSD’s activities, Mr. Koroma also informed the entourage that his component has devolved rural water supply to local councils, the UNICEF/WSD are constructing local council offices in six Districts and a lab for testing and producing quality water. Talking about the constraints, Mr. Koroma said WSD needs materials to enhance the staff for good service delivery
The Minister told the meeting that he inherited an unreadable policy and a Ministry where NPA was seen as the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. He has however decided to separate the Ministry from NPA which has been discussed with the UNICEF Country Representative and SALWACO Board.
The Minister will ensure to have a Ministry of Energy and Water Resources with proper water division, proper energy division, a centralized project unit, a centralized environmental unit for efficient service delivery. He said 42 WSD water stations in the provinces will be revived not with well but water pipe born properly managed and monitored.
The Minister said Degremont Company may be recalled to work with the Ministry and revive some stations. He told the WSD and SALWACO to read and comment on the draft water policy, warning all the Engineers in the Water Division to register because only registered Engineers will be working in the reformed system.