MCCU hands over Water Kiosks, DMA project to Guma
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Millennium Challenge Coordinating Unit (MCCU) yesterday handed over rehabilitated pipes, water kiosks and metering system located at Kingtom to the Guma Valley Water Company.
Funded by the United States government under the Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Program, the District Metering Area (DMA) Pipe Rehabilitation and Kiosks Demonstration project aims to improve Guma Valley’s operations by reducing non-revenue water in the selected communities of Kingtom and Aberdeen respectively. The pilot phase of the project is essential in laying the foundation for the financially viable provision of water services. The facility will benefit over 40,000 people in these selected communities.
In his statement, Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh reminded residents of the beneficiary communities of their responsibility to pay a minimal cost for the use of the water services and also urged them to ensure maintenance.
“Today is a big day for the people of Aberdeen and Kingtom communities. We are starting on a road to deliver water to the people and this will not be end. This is just the beginning of the commitment of this government to deliver water, starting from Freetown and extending to the rest of the country. The handing over of the metering system resonates with the theme of the World Water Day; “Valuing Water”,” he said.
He thanked the United Sates Government and the MCC for working with the government of Sierra Leone to reach the stage, wherein through the threshold program, they have been able to demonstrate practically that they can deliver safe and affordable drinking water to the people.
“I believe as we transitioned from the threshold program to the Compact, we are now building the solid foundation to address this water crisis in Freetown. We are going to be very tough on people that are building in water catchment areas.”
Also speaking, Chairperson of Guma Valley Board of Directors, Hon. Bintu Myers said: “As chair of the Board, its gives me great honour, satisfaction and pride to be amongst the beneficiaries of this project. We have placed emphasis on reducing non-revenue water as the cheapest path to increasing access to water for all.”
According to her, with technical loses still above 45%, the pilot phase of the project will go a long way to demonstrate the gains to be acquired from repairs and retention of the distribution system.
She added that if the MCCU has provided the means for the company to restore services and regain dignity as a service provider, they should acclaim such laudable effort.
“We accept the responsibility to take over and maintained these pipe lines, kiosks and maters. We will continue to work in the legacy of our American friends,” she assured.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Freetown, Elaine French said: “The US Government through the MCC Threshold Program has invested $44million to strengthen the energy and water sectors in the greater Freetown areas. Reliable water and electricity are essential not only for economic growth but also the provision of education and health.”
She stated that the water kiosks are part of the larger MCC Threshold Program in Sierra Leone and added that the community residents in Kingtom know how to value water.
“With the opening of this water kiosk, we honour the value of water here in Kingtom and Sierra Leone. Thanks to this project, 200 households now have access to clean water in their homes without going for the services water bowsers,” she said.
Members of Parliament representing Constituency 25and 31 respectively, Hon. Alusine Conteh and Hon. Sheriff Rahman Coker, thanked the US Government for the support and pledged their commitment in ensuring that the facility is maintained at all times.
Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyer had this to say: “Water is life and it is so fundamental to success of our businesses, to our livelihood, children’s development and health. Without water, there is little we can do, and do well.”