Where is the money that is supposed to give us clean water gone to? Lungi people ask
Since my return to London from Freetown I have posted many revealing pictures and videos on Facebook that are meant to expose the lies ‘perpetuated’ by our government concerning development strides in Sierra Leone. In one of the videos you could see SALWACO selling water to Lungi’s poor. Some fans of the government whom I considered unpatriotic commented that paying a thousand Leones for a ‘Bata’ of water is not at all bad, it is reasonable.
One of the praise singers wrote about his water bill in USA: ‘My water bill is $115 a month on average. Only difference it is pipe borne and chlorinated. Hopefully the lives of our people will be better in the near future if every Sierra Leonean in public office or private life would work together to move our nation forward.’ Another person responded to this: ‘if you convert one thousand Leones to US Dollars with proportional to 22.5 liter of treated water which is well brought to your door step, and what you pay by month. What will you prefer? Roughly what is the quantity of water do you usually used per month? Calculate that quantity in liters and divide it by 22.5 X 1’000 Leones’.
It is wrong to compare the cost of your waterbill in the USA to what people are ‘paying’ in Lungi for a ‘bata’ of water. One thing we should realise is that more 60% of people in Lungi are unemployment or have no source of income. Paying one thousand Leones for a ‘bata’ of water is a big blow dealt to the money they should be spending on food.
In the past the Government made many promises to provide portable water to the Lungi people. Projects have been commissioned to provide Lungi with water.
Why is SALWACO now selling water to the people of Lungi when they should be enjoying clean water without queuing for it? I went to the site where Angelic International Limited should be working to improve the water supply in Lungi. To my utter surprise, there was no work going on. All I saw was the project signboard. The Lungi people are still waiting in vain for the fulfilment of the President’s promises.
April this year The Station Manager of the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) in Lungi, Lansana Sawie, accused the Angelic Contracting Firm, Circular Road, Freetown of mismanaging $69 Million meant for the implementation of water projects right across the country: So where has the money that should improve water supply in Lungi gone to?
Lansana further said that he ‘commended the Japanese Government for rescuing SALWACO with six bowzers worth €3,000 which the company is now using to service the various communities in Port Loko District’. The question now is: is the water that the bowzers carry meant for sale? The people of Lungi are definitely waiting for an appropriate answer from the government.
In 2010 another project was commissioned in pursuit of supply water to Lungi communities.
We now have had two projects running to provide Lungi with water. Yet, Lungi has no clean water supply. Where have all the monies gone to? The people of Lungi want answers from the government now:
Why is Lungi still without clean water?
Where have all the monies that were meant to provide the city that has the international airport with water gone to?
Why is SALWACO selling water to the Lungi people despite the fact that a lot of money has been spent to provide them with water?
Moreover, the people of Sierra Leone need to know the companies that were suppose to implement these projects as we have two companies implementing almost the same project.
The people of Lungi are tired of the lies that have been told by the government on improving their socio-economic lives. They fell for the lies of the President and voted overwhelmingly for him in the past elections. Now in Power, the government has left them to rot in their social and economic predicaments. How long are these lies going to continue? How long are the people of Sierra Leone going to bear this economic hardship? Time will tell, Mr President.
Mohamed Kunowah Kiellow, UK
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