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24th June 2018

African Development Bank Country Boss' Vital Visit to Water Resources Ministry

By Isaac Swen (27/05/18)

The Country Manager of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has held fruitful discussions during a visit to the Water Resources Ministry.

 

The Minister of Water Resources, Dr. Jonathan Bonopha Tengbe (photo) and other senior officials in the Water and Sanitation sector wholeheartedly welcomed the visiting AfDA Country Manager Peninsh Kariuki.

Her trip to Sierra Leone was in line with the AfDB Country Portfolio with specific focus on the Three-Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project and Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, two key projects aimed at providing communities upcountry with clean water supply.

Discussions centred on the impact the projects have made on the lives of beneficiaries, challenges faced especially in the Rural Water Supply sector, and how best they could be addressed, to make the project a success.

The Task Manager for the 2 projects, Rogers Lubunga in an overview, described the projects generally as successful. Mr. Lubunga expressed delight at the provision of water to people in Bo, Kenema and Makeni, as a result of the successful implementation of especially the first phase of the 3 Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project.

He used the opportunity to call on the Government and the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO), to help provide more Service Connections for consumers, so that more people will enjoy the facility. Mr. Lubunga expressed the hope that Government and SALWACO would initiate more motivational measures that would make service delivery more efficient and excellent.

He also spoke about the Inter Relations Management Component of the Rural Water and Sanitation Project which involves Ministry of Water Resources officials, representatives of Councils from Koinadugu, Kono, Bonthe, Pujehun and Kambia, and how hundreds of thousands of people in those areas have benefitted from clean water supply.

He however pointed out how they have twice experienced the unsavory situation of being unable in meeting the disbursement target, a situation compounded more by the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone and the lack of capacity on the part of the local contractors hired by the Councils to construct the infrastructure component of the Project.

He praised SALWACO for having the capacity to handle the Project. AfDB Country Manager, Peninsh Kariuki stressed the importance of the Projects to the Bank which could help determine the country’s portfolio and encouraged the Government to ensure the successful implementation of the projects.

The Minister of Water Resources, Dr. Jonathan Tengbe in receiving the AfDB Team and SALWACO officials, spoke of Government’s commitment to support the water supply sector. He said as a newly appointed Minister, he would look at both the successes and challenges faced by his Ministry.

This he further noted prompted him to form a Team comprising Personnel from SALWACO, the Ministry itself and Guma Valley Water Company, to do a brief or official document on all the projects and then come up with 100 days Quick Win Plan aimed at tackling some of the pressing problems affecting the Water and Sanitation Sector. The Minister said he was pleased with the report, but however stated that being new he would have to look at suggestions and recommendations by the AfDB Country Office.

Dr. Tengbe promised to work with the team in subsequent meetings for solutions on problems faced. He conveyed President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction Initiative, of which improving water supply in the country is an integral component.

SALWACO Director General, Samuel Bangura and team were also among those present during the discussions.

TRIBUTE: ALPHA SHAW


1958 -1980

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