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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

AfDB directors tour Sierra Leonean project designed to transform water mgt, sanitation

A delegation of seven executive directors from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has visited a key water revamping project in Sierra Leone designed to transform water management and sanitation in the capital and beyond.

A delegation of AfDB’s Executive Directors visits one of the Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping Project sites in Freetown, Sierra Leone

The directors, on a five-day consultation mission to strengthen the bank’s partnership, visited project sites of the Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping Project, which seeks to boost access to safe water supply by 15 percent through climate-resilient and sustainable water supply systems, and to ensure a seven percent increase in access to improved sanitation using improved solid and liquid waste collection, treatment and disposal services.

They visited project sites for the rehabilitation and construction of new water treatment plant and water storage reservoir for the Angola Water Supply system located in New Jersey in the Angola locality, in the Western Area of Greater Freetown.

AfDB Executive Director for Sierra Leone, Rufus N. Darkortey, noted: “Improving water supply and sanitation is critical for socio-economic development and the Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping project will contribute greatly to poverty eradication in Sierra Leone.”

The Planning, Research and Development Manager at Guma Valley Water Corporation, Ing. Ishmail Bundu highlighted the benefits from the newly rehabilitated and expanded raw water reservoir under the project, the Babadorie Reservoir, located in Regent Town, Western Area Rural of Greater Freetown.

He stated: “The total capacity of raw water storage in the reservoir rehabilitated and expanded with financing from the African Development Bank was increased from 60,000 cubic meters to 72,000 cubic meters. With co-financing from the Kuwait Fund, another reservoir to store additional 60,000 cubic meters is being constructed in the same location. The overall storage of 130,000 cubic meters will serve the entire area during the driest period of the year.”

The project has already started to produce results. To date it has helped form 60 micro and small enterprise groups for water meter installation and trained 469 young people in plumbing and business management. It is expected to provide access to safe water for an estimated 1.4 million people (51% women), including new access for 1 million people and restore a regular daily water service for 400,000 people residing within Western Area Urban and Western Area Rural of Greater Freetown Area. It is also expected to improve environmental sanitation conditions, hygiene and sanitation habits of at least 200,000 people in vulnerable communities in Freetown and create over 2,700 jobs.

Halima Hashi, the bank’s Country Manager for Sierra Leone, said that the bank is committed to supporting Sierra Leone and other African member countries to achieve their goals.

“The African Development Bank will continue to mobilise financial resources for programs, supporting the achievement of the water and sanitation goals set by the Government of Sierra Leone,” she said.

Across the country, the bank is implementing projects focused on improving quality of life in line with its High Five priorities. Currently, it supports 10 projects covering Water and Sanitation, Energy, Transport, Agriculture, Multi-Sector projects with a total investment of $156.37 million.

Over the course of the mission, the Executive Directors held bilateral with several ministries such as the ministries of Works & Public Assets, Finance, Planning & Economic Development, Agriculture & Food Security, Energy, Water Resources and Sanitation, Trade and Investment. They also met with development partners in Sierra Leone, as well as the National Investment Board, Chamber of Commerce, Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency, the private sector, civil society organisations, National Farmers’ Association, Youth groups and vulnerable groups.

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