Old pipes and “spaghetti” connections allow for the exceptionally high losses of water in the water supply system. As a result of the high water losses in the transmission lines, distribution systems as well as the willful cutting and damaging of pipes, only 55 – 60% of water produced is available for consumption. The Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) is responsible for the distribution of water and has declared a war on the “spaghetti” pipe system of water distribution. Water supply connections to new households and entire communities are mainly from one major distribution main. The result is the widespread incidence of manifold supplies connections called “spaghetti” connections. The “spaghetti” pipes run through gutters, along walkways and in ditches and are often exposed on the ground. This makes them easy targets for people who are desperate for water. Residents cut into the pipes to fill buckets and rubber containers for household use. Residents farther down the line often complain about water flow being reduced or halted because someone else has cut their supply. The “spaghetti” pipes are usually 1 to1.5 inch plastic and can by easily cut with a kitchen knife. In the latter half of 2019, the Guma management created the Loss Control Unit to complement the efforts of the Area Offices to tackle water losses. Addressing staff of the Company recently, the Managing Director, Maada S. Kpenge, said one of the main focuses of Guma in 2020 is to reduce the high levels of water leakages in the communities. “The year 2020 will be about increasing the number of people with access to safe, clean water supplies and reducing leakage through extension of pipe networks throughout Freetown”, he said. Guma started to try to reduce “spaghetti” connections in 2019 in the following areas: Atlantic Beach Road; Assine Road and Minah, Juba Hill; Babadori Lumley; Lucy Drive, Hill Station; Water Street, Congo Town; Sawi Drive, Off King Harman Road; Cantonment Road, Brookfields; Wilberforce Military Barracks by the Total filling station; Sugar Land Road, Goderich; Lower Scan Drive, off Spur Road; Thompson Bay, off Wilkinson Road; Green Street, Off Kissy Road; Lower Dan Street; Queen Elizabeth Road; Africanus Road and Kissy Road, by the East End Police. Several sub-main extension projects are ongoing at IMATT, from Limkokwing to Regent Village; Lumley Road, Wilberforce; Wilberforce Military Barracks and on the Main Motor Road, Congo Town. The Guma MD said new pipelines will be laid from Lumley to Malama, Spur Road to Malama, Spur Road & Sesay Drive to Smart Farm and in Goderich.
By Ophaniel Gooding
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