By Foday Moriba Conteh
The Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Tourism and Guma Valley Water Company, with support from the Ministry of Finance, are collectively implementing the Lumley-Aberdeen Beach Road Project which is partly aimed at improving the water supply situation to businesses along the beach road and help to boost the tourism sector in the country.
The Lumley to Aberdeen beach road is one of the most beautiful tourist hotspots in Freetown, with lots of hotels, pubs, clubs and guest houses located on the strip. The number of foreign tourists and locals attracted to the area is on the rise. However, this area has been experiencing low or no water supply along its entire stretch over the last four years and this has led to some businesses constructing boreholes on their properties.
However, as is usually the case for locations so close to the ocean, large volume extraction of water from the boreholes results in saline intrusion in most cases, and water with high saline content is dangerous for human consumption.
The project, including the laying of a 4.6 Km pipeline from the Freetown Gulf Club to the Family Kingdom, started late November 2019, and is nearly complete.
The pipeline was commissioned last week, and service connections to the businesses has also commenced. With water supply now available along the entire stretch of the Lumley to Aberdeen Beach Road, Guma is encouraging business premises in the area to reconnect water supply to their facilities for improved business atmosphere. It is expected that the completion of the water supply project will lead to an increase in job creation for youths and women in Freetown, and reinforce the image of Freetown as a tourist destination.
The project, which cost Le 2.9 billion Leones, was funded by the Government of Sierra Leone and Guma Valley Water Company. The second phase of the project will install an elevated water storage reservoir for the beach road, and probably the rest of Aberdeen, to return Aberdeen to 24/7 water supply, and also install a water booster station that will create adequate water pressures throughout the water distribution system.