As part of efforts to improve the quality of life for serving security personnel in their living quarters takes momentum, the British Army has also added its weight to the effort by constructing new water wells and refurbishing new ones for the army, police and prison personnel.
The British Army 521 Specialists Royal Engineers will drill sixteen bore holes and refurbishment five old ones across the country.
Speaking Exclusively to Awoko Newspaper in Magburaka town, Tonkolili District, where the British Army Engineers are presently drilling for the construction of boreholes for prison and police officers, the Site Commander, Stewart Duffus said their intervention came as a result of a request made by IMAT officers to the British government to assist the Republic of Sierra Leone Security Force personnel in remote deployment locations s with water points.
Commander Duffus said they will construct 16 borehole wells for police and prison officers in Magburaka, Makeni, Bo, Port Loko, Waterloo, Lunsar and Kissy in Freetown to address the acute water problem faced by security personnel in those deployment locations. He disclosed that last year, they constructed six borehole wells and refurbished four for personnel of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) in Yealiboya, Bangbantoke, Makeni, Daru, Gerehun and Tombo. He said all funds are provided by the British Government and IMAT.
It could be recalled that Sierra Leone has set a national target of 74% national access to water and sanitation according to the National Water and Sanitation Policy.
Commandant Duffus described the Borehole Water Project as “very important” because water according to him is not readily available for these officers in their remote locations. He said the hand pumps they are installing are brand new, made with lower maintenance as compared to hand pumps made in India.
The 22-man British Army Engineer Specialist Team has two standard drilling machines and they are working comfortably with their RSLAF Engineer counterparts. He described the RSLAF personnel as excellent, willing to learn and ready to work under any kind of condition. He said government needs to invest in water, especially in remote locations, pointing out that those security personnel need safe and accessible water in their deployments areas as a way of improving their lives and that of their families.
Commandant Stewart Duffus described the water situation in the country as “poor” because, he maintained, “it seems much and proper attention is not given to the production and accessibility to water.” He said government needs to invest more in water and to also engage communities on the usage, maintenance of water facilities and the purification of water especially in remote areas of the country.
By Mohamed Kabba
Monday March 24, 2014