By Amin Kef Sesay
Philip K. Lansana, the Minister of Water Resources, has spoken on how the New Direction Government is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 which seeks to secure safe and affordable drinking water for all Sierra Leoneans by 2030, as stated in the SLPP manifesto and the Medium Term National Development Plan.
He made that disclosure while addressing an audience during the commissioning of the Guma Water Kiosk Project at Aberdeen on Friday 16th October, 2020. “Government and the Ministry of Water Resources are committed to achieving the SDG 6.1 through several ongoing water projects throughout the country and others that are in the pipeline,” he intimated and assured.
The Minister commended the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for providing funds for the Threshold Program which has made possible the following interventions; development of regulatory framework for water services and the Urban WASH Sector Roadmap, providing logistical support to the newly established National Water Resources Management Agency (NWRMA) thereby contributing to its operationalization, institutional and capacity support to Guma, conditional assessments of the Guma Dam, Transmission, Reservoirs and pipe networks of the Guma systems that will determine the level of interventions required for the system.
The Minister also informed the gathering about various activities that are currently being implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources including the revision of the National WASH Policy and the development of its implementation strategy; planned support to the Ministry that will strengthened, WASH monitoring and evaluation and performance tracking of various water projects in the country and the District Metering Areas (DMA) and Kiosk Demonstration Pilot project.
Minister Lansana revealed that the DMA is a technique used to improve water supply systems by partitioning the water distribution system into smaller zones and it will help in reduction of non-revenue water which currently stands at over 40% across Freetown.
“Both the DMA and kiosks systems have been tried, tested and proven to have worked well elsewhere, we hope to learn from this pilot and replicate this technique in other areas across Freetown contingent on the availability of funds,” the Minister stated.
He said the water kiosks which will be managed through Public-Private partnerships will reduce water collection time and improve access for the underprivileged.
The Minister once more thanked the MCC and MCCU for providing and managing the funds for the Threshold Program respectively and Guma, (its consultants and contractors) for professional execution of the project works expressing hope that Sierra Leone will receive the MCC Compact after the Threshold Program.