The Director General of Sierra Leone Water Company P.K Lansana has spoken in an interview with Awoko that a $100M water project has been completed to cover the district headquarter towns.
He said the project was not only to cover the district headquarter towns but to cover two other settlements stressing that the budget allocated for water this year is 3Billion leones which he referred to as inadequate and a cause for them to source for outside funding.
“The money we need to develop the water sector supply to meet the needs of our people we will not have from our budget because that allocated to water is not that high to really cover the entire country.” he said.
Explaining further, the Director General said SALWACO has two broader areas of interventions in their operations and also maintaining existing facilities in key towns within the provinces of Kenema, Bo, Makeni and Lungi.
The other aspect he said was the implementation of projects covering areas within the country.
“As I speak to you, we have one funded by the World Bank which covers four districts, Bo, Kenema, Tonkolili and Bombali and then we have another which is currently studied to look at the systems which are in Bo, Kenema cities so as to design one which can suffice for the yr 2025”.
Continuing, he said the follow-up projects will be that of construction of those facilities and the other projects to deal with the rehabilitation of water facilities in Kabala.
That Kabala project he stated needed an assessment of the design and construction to be coupled with another to implement a project that was suspended sometimes ago in four districts- Kenema, Kailahun, Tonkolili Kono because of alleged malpractice.
The Director General stated that their monitoring mechanisms are quite effective explaining that for a particular project, it will have its coordinator or project manager or study coordinator that monitors what the consultants do and to also correct them if they are lagging behind.
Coupled with that he said the project coordinator will also have a team that he works with in the field with supervisors to monitor the activities of contractors.
The SALWACO boss stressed that the water encatchment areas should be protected to discourage activities on the land and plans to work with line ministries to ensure that laws that have laid down on that issue be enforced. “We now learnt that the water encatchment area in Freetown is being protected against deforestation”.
The responsibility in providing water is divided in to geographical areas he continued as in Freetown it is the responsibility of GUMA whilst SALWACO provides water to the provinces “The 2001 Act of SALWACO clearly indicated that we are responsible for five urban communities to be extended to six and the purpose of establishing SALWACO was to take care of all the urban areas so that we will gradually graduate in to self sustenance to rely on tariffs collected from the people rather than on governments”.
He however said a policy paper developed very recently and approved by cabinet in August last year where responsibilities were defined, SALWACO’s mandate was increased to include rural areas.
By Ishmael Bayoh and Solomon Rogers