The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources has held a consultative meeting with stake holders to discuss the newly drafted roadmap for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the country.
Integrated Water Resources Management is a systematic process for sustainable development, allocation and monitoring of water resources use in the context of social, economic and environmental objectives.
The Roadmap for IWRM is a strategic vision plan about future development related to the use, conservation and protection of water resources.
The auspicious meeting brought together the Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources, officials from the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and other government Ministries, Mayors of city councils, Chairmen of town councils, representatives from Fourah Bay College and Njala University, representative from AfDB, UNEP, NGOs and Civil society were all in attendance.
In her opening statement, the chair person, Mrs. Hawa Musa called for the active involvement of women in decision making of the IWRM since women are the major users of water.
Country Program officer of the Africa Development Bank in Sierra Leone, Cecil Martey said the IWRM program will only be successful if citizens are well sensitized and educated about the need to preserve and conserve water.
He pledged the AfDB’s unflinching support towards promoting the IWRM adding that the ADB has already contributed $40 million to develop the IWRM in Sierra Leone. The UNEP Representative, Thomas Cheramba said the major challenge facing efficient water management in any country is that of governance.
He said the IWRM could only be achieved with effective governance that will ensure every citizen has access to water. Mr. Cheramba stated that less than half of the Sierra Leonean populace has access to pure drinking water.Delivering the keynote address, Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Hon. Martin Bash Kamara acknowledged the support of foreign partners in promoting the provision of water to the citizens of Sierra Leone.
The Deputy Minister noted that Sierra Leone is endowed with vast water resources but it is paradoxical to know that majority of the citizens do not have access to pure drinking water, even those in the cities and big towns, let alone talk of people living in rural communities.
He however, assured stakeholders that the Ministry is trying its best to ensure that every citizen in the country gets access to clean and pure drinking water.
By William Freeman