CCSL Calls On Govt. To Tackle Water Crisis

Council of Churches Sierra Leone.jpg

By Esther Wright

Ing. Elder Francis Lahai, Deputy Managing Director Guma Valley Water Company, has said that the Government of President Bio is considering to build 200 to 300 boreholes across the country. Places such as in Moyamba in the South, Kamalo in the North West, Newton in the West and Kambia in the North all being water starved areas in the dry season will benefit from that drive.

The Deputy Managing Director revealed this when the Council of Churches Sierra Leone joined the international community in celebrating World Water Day 2022. The celebration which took place on Tuesday 2022 at the CCSL Hall, Kingharman Road in Freetown attracted mostly religious leaders and other water stakeholders. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Ground Water, Making the Invisible Visible”.

Ing. Elder Francis Lahai, who was speaking on behalf of the Minister of Water Resources, Philip K Lansana, said that water is a precious commodity in the country and that in the last decade, the water sector in Sierra Leone was characterized by a feeling of “we have landed”. He cited the New Direction Manifesto, in which the President approved the establishment of the new Ministry of Environment to better environmental challenges facing the pollution of water in the country. He called on all for the need to take pages from the Chinese and Arabs and look for alternatives for Sierra Leone. He cited desalination, Ground water sources and large scale rainwater harvesting for consideration as surface water begins to get contaminated for human consumption.

He pledged that the Ministry of Water Resources will intensify awareness raising across the country, interpret data on ground water distribution, train personnel in the technology of ground water, geophysics and hydrogeology and encourage PPP partnerships to exploit the invisible water and make it more visible.

In welcoming participants, the General Secretary of the Council of Churches Sierra Leone, Kezia Kargbo, said the theme points to ground water as a hidden vital resource that provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide but yet not fully recognized and utilized. She said Sierra Leone depends entirely on groundwater which supplies a large proportion of water used for drinking, sanitation, food production and industrial processes. She ended by calling on all to protect groundwater from overexploitation.

The Chairperson of the program, Madam Jane Godwin, who is also the 2nd Vice President of the CCSL, in her remarks cited the creation story in the Bible in which God created water for the livelihood of man but went on to say that unfortunately human activities have been depriving people  access to water. She said that the country lacks adequate drinking water and dilated on the fact that pipe borne water was now a rarity and the sachets of water that are being sold are much to be desired.

Speaking on the theological perspective of water ,the Right Reverend Arnold Arnold A C Temple, Co-Chair of the  Ecumenical Water Network, World Council of Churches noted that the theme is not a popular one in the sense that it has not been popularly explored. He pointed out that in Sierra Leone groundwater still remains untapped, while in some parts of the world there has been overexploitation. He dilated on the following themes;

  • Water is God’s creation and gift-Water is life
  • Water is for the common good and is to be shared
  • Water is spiritual
  • We are stewards of creation

Quoting form Genesis 1:20 “Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life…” “Take water away from any community and that community is wiped”.

He cited instances in both the Old and New testaments in which water played a pivotal role around good and bad times noting that even Jesus on the cross called for water when he cried I THIRST.  He said Christians are called to stewardship of water – to provide it and make it readily available in its pure form to the next generation. He called on all to be careful in their utilization of the earth’s resources – especially water.

Panel discussions, practical case study; effects of water pollution-Taia River and group work all formed part of the engagement.


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