The ceremony which took place at the Makeni City Council Hall brought together stakeholders including government officials, staff of both the Ministry of Water Resources and SLWACO, Civil Society Organizations and the media as they witnessed the testing exercised which was done by the Minister of Water Resources Momodu Maligie.
The three Towns Water and Sanitation projects is for Bo, Kenema and Makeni with support from the African Development and OPEC fund for International Development (OFID).
The objects of the project is centered towards creating access to safe drinking water and also improved the sanitation sector in Bo, Kenema and Makeni with the aimed to enhance the operational management capability of SLWACO that center towards ensuring that the service provided can be maintained.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Minister of Water Resources Momodu Maligie described the day as important not only for SLWACO and the Ministry but also for the people of Makeni city as they have been without clean pipe born water for over 35 years disclosing that before he took up office as Minister of Water Resources the three Towns Water and Sanitation project was almost dead with donors threaten to pull out but due to the supports he received from staff and stakeholders he was able to win the heart of donors again.
According to Momodu Maligie, the project is centered towards providing safe drinking water for Bo, Kenema and Makeni with plans to extend it to other part in the provinces affirming that SLWACO is purely addressing the problem of water shortage and sanitation in the provinces.
He further stated that before he assumed responsibility, SLWACO was the worst performing government institution with people refusing to associate themselves with the institution asserting that after the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary election, President Koroma saw the need to prioritized water by establishing the Ministry of Water Resources to addressed the problem of water in the country.
Samuel Bangura Director General Sierra Leone Water Company said on 29th July 2011 the government of Sierra Leone received approval from the Africa Development Bank (ADB) to fund the three Towns Water and Sanitation Project for Bo, Kenema and Makeni with a tune of sixty one million dollars ($61).
he said the newly water supply system would not only savage the problem of water shortage in Bo, Kenema and Makeni but also reduced the hardship people normally face before they accessed clean water affirming that they would have to pay before accessing water which in turn the Water Company would used to expand the facilities and commended SALWACO that Council will continue to monitor the facilities to enhance sustainability.
The Mayor of Makeni City Sunkarie Kabbah said water has been a major challenged for the people of Makeni City especially during the dry season disclosing that her Council is working towards introducing a smart electronic system where people would have pay before accessing the facilities and commended SALWACO and the Ministry of Water Resources for providing water.
Representing the President, Professor Victor Strasser King from the Strategic Policy Unit State House reiterated the important of water which he said is one of President Koroma’s Flagship program to provide safe drinking water of Sierra Leone emphasizing that safe drinking is essential to keep the people healthy.
Dr. Sillah from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation said the role of the Ministry is to ensure that water provided to people is safe, pure and clean adding that the Ministry will continued to monitor the facilities to ensure that safety regulations is maintained.