By Foday Moriba Conteh
Caritas Freetown (Sierra Leone), with support from Caritas Germany, has on Thursday 7th July, 2022 commissioned 4 VIP Latrines and 2 Water Wells at the Culvert Community in the East End of Freetown.
The One Family Preparatory & International Secondary School benefited from One VIP Toilet and One Water Well, Kel’s Primary School benefited from One VIP Toilet, Elementary Primary School benefited from One VIP Toilet and One Water Well and Zone 4 which is a zone at Culvert Community also benefited from one VIP Toilet.
Executive Director Caritas Freetown, Rev. Fr. Peter Konteh, in handing over the facilities said that Caritas has been working tremendously in order to elevate the suffering of Sierra Leoneans maintaining how they were able to achieve such through their interventions and activities across the country.
He pointed out that as an organization they have been very supportive to the people of the Culvert Community, adding that it is one of the most deprived slum communities in Freetown and that during the raining season the community is always affected by flooding but said that through the intervention of Caritas, which trained residents on how to interpret the signs of heavy downpour such has helped to mitigate flooding in the community.
Rev. Fr. Peter Konteh pointed out that the organization has also assigned permanent staff in the community in order to support residents in diverse ways.
He expressed appreciation to Caritas Germany for supporting the construction of the VIP Toilets and Water Wells at the Culvert Community which he said as an organization they are very proud to officially commission them as part of their support towards the development of the community.
The Executive Director called on the community residents to take ownership of the VIP Toilets and Water Well in order to ensure their sustainability.
He used the opportunity to inform the gathering that on the 13th of May 2022, after a fire incident within the Culvert Community, Caritas Freetown in collaboration with Tzu Chi under the Partnering to Serve Humanity provided emergency relief support to the victims slated to last for a period of 12days.
The Proprietor of the One Family Preparatory & International Secondary School, Chief Joseph Mathew Williams commended Caritas Freetown Sierra Leone for the commissioning of the VIP Toilets and Water Wells at the Culvert Community. He described the gesture as not only important but very timely towards addressing sanitary issues within the community.
He assured Caritas that they will ensure the maintenance and sustainability of the VIP Toilets and Water Well.
A stakeholder at Zone 4 Culvert Community, Mammy Dora also on behalf of the community expressed gratitude to Caritas Freetown and Caritas Germany for the construction of the VIP Toilets for the community. She revealed that before the commissioning of the VIP Toilets the community has been challenged with toilet facilities but said with the commissioning of the VIP Toilets Caritas has put smiles on the faces on the community residents.
“Residents in the past used to use the drainage to defecate but with the construction that will become a thing of the past now in the community because community residents will no longer use the drainages but the newly constructed VIP Toilets,” he disclosed.
Speaking on behalf of the pupils, Ishmael Turay, a Class 6 Pupil of the One Family Preparatory & International Secondary School expressed gratitude to Caritas for the VIP Toilets and Water Wells.
“We as pupils find it very difficult to access good toilets and clean drinking water within the Culvert Community, we sometimes use the drainages to defecate but with this new VIP Toilet we will no longer use the drainages and we now also have access to clean drinking water,” he stated.
Climaxing the ceremony was the symbolic commissioning of the VIP Toilets and Water Wells by the Executive Director of Caritas Freetown, Rev. Fr. Peter Konteh, Chief Joseph Mathew Williams and others.