Dr B.M Koroma, head of department Chemistry, Njala University, has warned of an acute water shortage in the nearest possible time.
The university professor was over the weekend delivering a paper at a symposium organized by the Njala students’ union, New England campus in Freetown, on the topic: “crisis and climate change, options for access to clean and safe water in rural Sierra Leone”.
Dr Koroma highlighted that perpetual poverty in the country could be related to inaccessibility of safe drinking water, extreme climatic conditions amidst other socio economic and environmental constraints for local development and poverty alleviation, inefficient management and land use practices, coupled with the lack of awareness to both upstream and down stream water users of rivers, as some problems affecting the Guma Valley Water company.
He stated that by the year 2020, there would be conflict for water for the small available water provided by Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC). Some reasons he gave for that was because Guma faced water wastage through pipe tapping, climate change and environmental hazards.
He noted that each individual needed 30 liters of water per day for which it would be difficult some day to get up to five liters.
Dr Koroma highlighted that the proportion of people without access to adequate water was greater in Africa than anywhere else in the world “Africa has 19 of the 25 countries in the world with the highest percentage of population without access to safe drinking water and taking cognizance of the fact that water is the single most important ingredient that determines performance of productive activities as well as quality of life, focus on capacity building in this direction must emphasize on the environmental and social problems arising from water and land use interactions.”
He mentioned other related water constraints on the rapid population growth, urbanization, industrialization and the drive for food security as putting immense pressure on water resources both in terms of quantity and quality.
By Ishmael Bayoh