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Parliament adopts Report of Committee on Water Resources

Parliament adopts Report of Committee on Water Resources

Freetown, November 7 (SLENA) – The Parliament of Sierra Leone last week Thursday debated and adopted the recommendations contained in the Report of the Oversight Committee on Water Resources following its visits to the Guma Valley Water Company’s installations.

They also covered water facilities in the Western Area and SALWACO’s water and sanitation facilities in the North, South and Eastern regions. The visits lasted from 21st to 27thJune 2014.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of Water Resources, Hon. Sualiho M. Koroma commended the Leadership of Parliament for supporting MPs to perform their constitutional mandate to oversee the operations of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the country.

Speaking on the report, Hon. Koroma highlighted the challenges that affect the water sector in the country and proffered some recommendations.

He strongly recommended that the Ministry of Water Resources, Lands, Country Planning & the Environment, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should work together in order to enhance the protection of water catchment areas.

He also recommended the provision of sufficient resources to salvage the challenges of water supply system in the country.

He said Parliament should review the existing laws that guide the functions and operations of Guma Valley Water Company and SALWACO to meet international best practices; including the water tariff system and the method of payment.

Seconding the motion, Hon. Frederick S. Sourie spoke on the need for protecting the water catchment areas in the country. He called on line ministries to collaborate and provide quality water services to the people of Sierra Leone. He also recommended that SALWACO should regulate all water gravity systems in the rural areas.

In his contribution, Chief Whip of Parliament, Hon. Claude Kamanda, commended the Committee on Water Resources for a job he described as “well done”. He called on Parliament to step up and make sure that MDAs implement the recommendations made by Parliament; failing which it should be regarded as “Contempt of Parliament”. He later urged SALWACO to follow the recommendations and to also revisit the Waterloo water gravity project.

Hon. Ibrahim Kamara also commended the work of SALWACO and urged them to maintain existing water projects across the country.

Hon. PC Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sanka III stoutly spoke on the challenges of the water sector in the country, referencing inadequate water and sanitation facilities in the Parliament of Sierra Leone.

The Acting Minority Leader, Hon. Ansumana KaiKai commended the report in its entirety and stated that one of the goals in the MDGs spoke volumes on the provision of adequate, sustainable, and clean water supply for all. He urged Parliament to legislate on the recommendations of the Committee.

In concluding the debate, Leader of the House, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu praised the recommendations put forward by the Committee, and called on MDAs mentioned in the report to submit their reactions to Parliament based on the recommendations contained therein; and proffer solutions as quickly as possible. He concluded by calling on Parliament to be serious in holding the executive to account on behalf of the people. This, he said, is constitutionally mandatory and should be done fearlessly without any form of sentiments.

Credit SLENA

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