28 April 2017

Sierra Leone: Villagers Decry Salwaco's 'White Elephant Project'

Residents of Rosinor village, Samu Chiefdom, Kambia district, northern Sierra Leone, have expressed frustration over the pipe borne water facility provided by the Sierra Leone Water Company, claiming that they only fetch water from the facility twice since it was installed in the village.

Zainab Kamara, a member of the Village Development Committee (VDC) of Rosinor village, said nobody had explain to them as to why the sudden stop of water supply at the village.

She said accessing water at Rosinor village especially during the dry season was very difficult, and that the situation remained the same despite the installation of pipe borne water facility by SALWACO.

"The hand-pump that serves the entire village was provided for us by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through Graceland. We used to contract diseases like cholera and diarrhea because of the impurity of the water we used to fetch from the stream," she said.

Lamin Yillah, Rosinor's Village Development Committee Chairman, said women would be more affected should there be shortage of water in the home, adding that they had to walk about a mile to fetch water from the stream.

"We were happy when SALWACO brought the water project in this village. But we only fetch water from the facility twice. Water is a direly needed facility and we cannot go without it," he said.

However, a source at SALWACO's headquarters in Freetown who spoke to Concord Times on condition of anonymity, admitted to the claim made by residents, stating that the facility was not opened to the public because it has not been commissioned.

He said the project was about 92% completed, noting that people would start to realize regular supply of water when the project shall have been completed and commissioned.

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