The Salone Water Company (SALWACO) has from Thursday 21- Saturday 24 July seen to the pre- commissioning test of Kenema and Bo portable water supply systems respectively.
In a meeting held at the Kenema District council Hall, the Minister of Water Resources, Momodu Maligi pleaded with the people of Kenema not to misuse the blessing of portable water supply that has been offered to them by the government of Sierra Leone, under the leadership of His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. In no uncertain terms, he told them that if they want to grow, then they should put politics aside and appreciate what is being done by the government of the day. The Minister admonished the leaders of Kenema District to ensure that they put mechanisms in place to protect every property of SALWACO in the District.
Karamoh Kabbah who is the Resident Minister- Eastern Province, in his delivery, noted that when President Koroma assumed power, he brought on board young people to manage the affairs of SALWACO. “Today is a great day for me, because SALWACO brings life to the people of Kenema. I want to bring your attention to the fact that we should treat water supply with utmost seriousness, by paying for it. Portable (clean treated water) water is not free. You must pay for it. Government has been very reasonable by selling water at Le 10 per litre.”
Karamoh Kabbah also cajoled Kenema residents to embrace wholeheartedly the development being brought to them by government.
Addressing the gathering at the Kenema District Council Hall, Board Chairman of SALWACO, Robin Fallay, orated that portable water supply is an issue from which the “Eastern people of Kenema have suffered for years.”
The Board Chairman told the gathering that bringing portable water to Kenema was made possible under the leadership of President Koroma. “One of the problems that the Eastern people of Kenema have is with regards politics,” he harangued, “let us forget about bad politics and focus on working towards reducing poverty in the country.”
At the Bo District Council Hall, Alpha K. Bangura (representing the Minister of Finance), disclosed that Kenema, Bo, and Makeni are beneficiaries of the Three Towns Water Supply Project which is majorly being sponsored by the African Development Bank and OfID.
“We received as loan total sum of $62 million (sixty- two million Dollars) from both the African Development Bank and OFID. African Development Bank loaned us the sum of $42 million, while we got $19.7 million loan from OFID,” Alpha Bangura explained.
According to him, the said project hinges on improving sanitation, empowering SALWACO, and enhancing the running of water supply facilities. He however, admitted that the challenges they are faced with is repaying the aforesaid loans, and the sustaining of the water supply facilities.
The Director General of SALWACO Samuel Bangura highlighted that the company has come a long way, and owned up to the fact if he were to measure how far they as company have come, he would say that they have only achieved 25% of the tasks they have.
“Our real objective is to beg government to rehabilitate all the water supply systems in the country. When we bring portable water, please don’t frown at it,” he craved.
Director Bangura also pleaded with Members of Parliament, Chiefs, and Councilors to talk to the people of Bo District to wholeheartedly embrace development.
Moreover, some residents of both Kenema and Bo Districts to whom this Press talked to about the development brought to them were generally glad and excited that the government finally remembered them in their (government) numerous developmental strides.
One resident of Kenema, whose name is Samuel Yorpoi came up with a dissenting view, saying: “This is all brought down to the 99 tactics of the APC to considerably coax us into voting for them in the coming elections. Why must they cause noise whenever they embark on developmental projects?”
Source: Awareness Times, 25t July 2016