Sierra Leone reviews water delivery system
Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma has on Wednesday officially launched a two-day Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) conference in Sierra Leone in Freetown, aimed at reviewing what the country has achieved and what needs to be done in the water delivery system.
In his statement, President Koroma said his government was committed to ensuring that lasting and permanent water supply was delivered to all Sierra Leoneans.
“Our country is facing a lot of challenges in meeting its National Water and Sanitation Policy targets. This disturbs me greatly. There is no doubt that the time for more comprehensive and sustained actions is now” said the President, adding; “and so over the next two days we must review what we (as a sector) have done well and what are the remaining challenges.”
President Koroma further revealed that his government had provided huge resources to the WASH sector over the years and has also provided 56 billion Leones (US$130mn) from the capital expenditure to the sector, which according to him, is a manifestation of his government’s commitment to tackle the numerous challenges the water sector is facing in the country.
“A new approach is to be developed in water delivery as many of the challenges are complex and need a clear oriented program of action”, the President said, adding that the challenge of strengthening government institutions and adopting a new approach in providing a permanent and lasting water supply for the people still remained a key challenge in the sector.
He urged all the participants to work together for a common goal of providing and sustaining water delivery to all Sierra Leoneans, while urging everyone to put aside their organizational and sectoral attachments and work as a unit in the WASH sector.
In his statement, the Minister of Water Resources, Momodu Maligie said water, sanitation and hygiene are key elements to lifting Sierra Leoneans out of poverty and promoting socio-economic growth. He assured that the two-day conference would take stock of the status of the achievement of the water and sanitation MDGs in Sierra Leone, reviewing key achievements and challenges and adopt strategies and actions for accelerating the achievement of the MDG targets.
Several other statements were delivered by development partners and government ministers, all geared towards achieving the provision and sustainability of water supply to all Sierra Leoneans.
The conference creates a platform for Sierra Leone’s political leadership, water sector professionals, stakeholders and partners to map out opportunities and challenges of achieving water security for the country’s socio-economic development.