SALWACO engage Kabala stakeholders on Water Supply Project
Paramount chiefs, Councilors and stakeholders within Koinadugu District and government officials from the Ministries of Energy and Water Resources, Finance and Economic Development and SALWACO over the weekend handed over the land for the Kabala water supply project to the contractor. (Photo: Officers of the ministries of Finance, Energy and Water Resources, SALWACO, paramount chiefs and Councils of Koinadugu District and the contractors at the handing over of the water supply project site in Kabala)
In a bid to address the acute water shortage facing residents of Kabala and its surroundings, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources in close partnership with the Sierra Leone Water Company has secured funding from BADEA and the Islamic Development Bank for the provision of water supply in the Koinadugu District Northern Sierra Leone one of the least developed district in the country.
According to the Peter Bayogun Conteh Koinadugu District Council Chairman provision of pipe born water and electricity within the township of Kabala and its surroundings has negatively contributed to the under development and isolation of the largest district in Sierra Leone.
He said the launch of the Kabala Water Supply project by the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) and handing over of the site for the construction of the proposed office building for the water project demonstrates government commitments in bringing development closer to the ordinary people.
The Koinadugu District Council Chairman welcomed SALWACO and assured that the project will be successfully implemented in the district and appealed for the provision of electricity mentioning the availability of a mini water dam that can provide about 30mega watts of power generation.
He also cautioned the contractors to employ trained and qualified workers capable of implementing the project within the district.
The Paramount Chief of wara wara yagala chiefdom Gbawuru Mansaray 111 said “water is life and it is important that the people access to pipe born water at an affordable rate within the district.”
He said “we are committed and determined to ensure that the project is successfully implemented in the two chiefdoms within Kabala so that the ordinary people can benefit from the water supply project.”
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources Mr. Thomas said the Government’s Agenda for Change has a priority in providing water and electricity for the people at cities towns and villages.
He also said that locals will be employed during the implementation of the project in a bid to foster a sense of ownership of the project.
The Permanent Secretary additionally states that Kabala will soon get a power generator to provide an emergency power supply for the people of Kabala. He said “the Ministry of Energy is determined to provide the people with accessible and affordable water.”
The pioneer and action oriented acting Director General of the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) Victor Hastings Spaine gave brief back ground of the Kabala water supply project which was initially funded by BADEA with $USD4m and later the Islamic Development Bank providing $USD 12m.
Acting Director General of the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) Victor Hastings Spaine addressing stakeholders in Kabala about the water supply project
The Director General of SALWACO said several efforts were made in the past for the provision of water from the Yataya River, but it was realized that the river cannot provide adequate water for the District.
He added that after several consultations with the stakeholders in Kabala by the technical team it was agreed that the project design should be changed by the consultants for a new treatment plants and supply line at Mongo and Musaya villages that will provide pipe born water for all the surrounding villages along the supply pipe line.
The SALWACO Director went further to explain about their efforts in ensuring that beneficiaries of the project are involved in the project implementation, and called on the residents to handover the land for the project site to the government.
He said competitive bidding have been completed and the contract for the construction of the administrative building has been awarded to the United Family Company and bids for the construction of the treatment plant and supply pipe lines is in progress.
He also said that a new unit has been established at SALWACO on community hygiene and sanitation and environmental sustainability, in a bid to ensure sustenance of water projects.
Mr. Victor Hastings Spaine called on the Local Councils to help in the enforcement of laws for the sustenance of the project by ensuring users pay for services provided to them by SALWACO.
He added that the design and drawings for the treatment plant has been completed by the engineers.
Peter Sam Kpakra a representative of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development explained about how the government got the loan of $USD16m and the mode of loan repayment after seven years.
He said the government is expected to pay ten percent of the total cost of the project.
He implored locals to support the water supply project because the beneficiaries of the project will also pay back the loan. He called on Kabala stakeholders to effectively monitor the implementation of the project
Strategic Policy Unit Representative from State House encouraged the people to embrace the project as the government is committed and determined to improve the living standard of the people.
Alpha Sesay Director of Lands and Survey North also gave brief background of land system in provincial towns and the amalgamation of chiefdoms within the District.
He said the land SLWACO will be acquiring will be surveyed, documented and signed by all stakeholders additionally stating that the Ministry has planned to establish offices at district level for land survey and country planning in a bid to decentralize government activities.
The Council and traditional chiefs in Koinadugu District assured SALWACO and the funding agencies that the project will be successfully completed in the district to address the acute water shortage in the district.
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