Employers Federation Enlightens Rokupa Residents on ‘Women for Water and Peace Project’

By Abubakarr Harding

In a groundbreaking initiative, the Sierra Leone Employers Federation (SLEF) announced the launch of the ‘Women for Water and Peace Project’ on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. This collaborative effort, supported by various partners, the International Labour Office, and funded by the UNCDF and UN Peacebuilding Fund, aims to address water scarcity challenges in five communities: Mayenkineh, Rokupa, Dwarzack, Crab Town-Aberdeen, and Lumley Community.

The primary focus of the project is the construction of water wells to provide purified water, with a particular emphasis on addressing challenges faced by women and girls.

Addressing residents of the Rokupa Community on the 14th November, 2023, Albert Ojo Collier, the Executive Secretary of SLEF, highlighted the significant role of women in water-related activities and the risks they face, including physical violence and sexual exploitation during late-night water fetching.

“The ‘Women for Water and Peace Project’ is a crucial step towards ensuring that women and girls no longer suffer in their pursuit of water,” emphasized Collier.

He stressed the importance of placing women’s groups in charge of the wells, not only to address water-related issues but also to empower the community economically.

In a presentation on the role of women in the water kiosk business, Fatmata Kamara from the West Africa Network for Peace Building emphasized the employment opportunities it provides for women in the community.

Kamara expressed hope that the kiosk business would contribute to women’s self-reliance, boost confidence, and reduce child pregnancies.

Salifu Mansaray, Youth Chairman in the Rokupa Community, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the project’s importance in alleviating the burden of water-fetching on women.

He urged community residents to take ownership of the wells, ensuring proper maintenance and transparency in handling funds generated through water sales for broader community development.

Hawanatu Sesay, a student in the Rokupa community, expressed gratitude for the proposed wells, anticipating a positive impact on their daily lives. She highlighted the challenges students face when fetching water, causing delays in attending school, and urged swift commencement.


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