In Yonibana Village, in Tonkolili District, a high-powered delegation from the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources accompanied by management of the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) on Friday officially handed over a Le 10.5 billion water project to Latco Joint Experts. The water project is geared towards improving the health condition of inhabitants of the chiefdom by providing sanitized water for domestic use.
The source of potable water in the entire chiefdom and the distance that must be covered to fetch it remains a challenge until the project time-frame, which is officially staged for nine months is completed.
Members of the community who showed up in their numbers were in jubilant mood, singing songs of relief in the provision of water in their community. Community youths who were equally very pleased with the implementation of the project had begun brushing the surroundings of the water works ahead of time, and expressed willingness to continue their kind gesture.
In the words of the representative of the Paramount Chief of Yoni Chiefdom P.C. Bai Shebura Kondor, an appeal was made to the contractor for the provision of job opportunity for youths and indigenes of Yoni Chiefdom to boost their livelihood. He spoke lengthily on the necessity of water in the life of the people of the chiefdom, adding that their forefathers and generations yet unborn had already commended the effort of those who had made the project come to fruition.
Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Martin Bash Kamara re-echoed government’s support to projects that lay premium on the provision of water and electricity. He assured membership of the Yoni Chiefdom that the water project was a springboard for other developments to be realized sooner than later, considering the necessity of safe drinking water in human.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Augustine Sahr Sheku said the project was a part of achieving the President’s Agenda for Change especially in the area of water and sanitation. He admonished the chiefdom people to take the project as theirs and watch over it even after its completion.
Revitalizing the hopes of inhabitants, the Head of Latco Joint Experts, Abdul Latif Musa said that they would work ardently to ensure the project was completed far ahead of time as his company had worked on much larger water projects. He reassured that ahead of the 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration, the Yoni Chiefdom, including Mile 91, would enjoy water supply through the installation of water tanks around their area of operation which would sustain them till the completion of the project.
Since its installation of the Degremont scheme by the Sierra Leone Construction Company in April 1971, and its eventual collapse in the 1990s, the Yoni Chiefdom water works has been lying in ruins and a source of concern to government and the community it used to serve. The contract was assigned initially to a certain company which, as a result of inaccuracies and probably incompetence, was not successful and was withdrawn. The handing over ceremony to Latco past week was a sigh of relief to many especially women and children who suffer the brunt of water shortage.
By Poindexter Sama