Partnering to Serve Humanity Consortium Commissions Submersible Well & 10 VIP Toilets at Grafton

By Foday Moriba Conteh

In a bid to support the course of serving humanity in the country, Partnering to Serve Humanity Consortium, comprising Tzu Chi Foundation, Healey International Relief Foundation, Lanyi Foundation and Caritas Freetown has on Tuesday 29th December, 2020 commissioned and handed over a state of the art submersible well with three taps
and 10 VIP toilets to the Polio Challenge Association at Grafton. The handing over ceremony took place within the Grafton community in Western Area Rural District.

Speaking during the ceremony, the Programs Manager of Caritas Freetown, Ishmael Alfred Charles, disclosed that as a consortium they are very pleased to officially commission and hand over the submersible well to the Polio Challenge Association and the entire Grafton community.

He added that the consortium had a previous engagement with members of the Polio Challenge Association during which members of the Association requested for support, to be specific, toilets and water facilities, adding that the consortium took up the request, discussed it and later agreed to reach out to their partner organizations who later provided the funds to the Tzu Chi Foundation furthering that the entire project was led by the Chief Executive Officer of Lanyi Foundation, Philomena Yumkella.

Ishmael Alfred Charles disclosed that the Sustainable Development Goal 6 is about “clean water and sanitation for all” saying there should be availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all but said statistics have shown that less than 3 % of the world population has access to clear water.

He noted that it against such a backdrop that they thought it fit to undertake such a project which will not only benefit the Polio Challenge Association but also residents within the Grafton community.

President/Executive Director of Caritas Freetown, Rev. Fr. Peter Konteh, also underscored that the consortium, which is partnering to Serve Humanity Consortium, doesn’t discriminate between disable or able individuals adding that their focus is entirely on everyone who needs help, especially vulnerable and marginalized groups in society and certainly the Grafton Amputee camp falls under that category.

He assured them that commissioning and handing over the water facility with three taps and 10 VIP toilets to them will be the “beginning of beginnings” and encouraged them to make good use of it.

Chairman of the Polio Challenge Association, Ibrahim I. Kamara, expressed appreciation to the consortium for the construction of the sub-massive well and the 10 VIP toilets which he said the gesture is not only important but a timely intervention.

He revealed that it was not easy for them as physically challenged persons to have access to proper toilets and water facility as some of the toilets they used to have are now in dilapidated forms, but said with the commissioning of the submersible well and the 10 VIP toilets such will surely eradicate the suffering they used to face in terms of accessing proper toilet and water facilities. Ibrahim I. Kamara noted that as persons living with disability their voices must be heard, their presence must be felt and their constitutions must be recognized in society.

He assured the consortium that the facility will be taken good care of by members of the community in order to enhance its sustainability and durability.

Headman of the Grafton Community, Julius Mansaray, also joined the Polio Challenge Association to shower praises on the consortium for the gesture, noting that over the years the community has been challenged in terms of having standard toilet and water facilities but said with this gesture from the consortium such will surely be a thing of the past within the Grafton community.

Giving his keynote address, Director of Social Welfare at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Francis Kabia started by stating that he noted that as disable persons their voices must be heard in society and in that regard he applauded the consortium for the provision which he said will complement Government’s effort in giving disable people access to proper sanitation and pure drinking water.

He maintained that he is very happy that both the toilet and water facilities are disable friendly, adding that in most cases the physical environment makes people living with disable feel the pain as most of the facilities are not disable friendly which prevent them
from accessing those facilities of which he said persons who are physically okay have already rule out people living with disable to access those facilities.

He said as a Ministry they are very committed to address issues affecting vulnerable groups in the country especially people living with disability. He encouraged them to make good use of the facilities in order to sustain them in their community.


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