Guma Valley Water Company on Thursday 8th December 2022 at the WASH Sector Investment Forum held at the Brookfields Hotel disclosed plans of its intention to build several dams to bridge the gap between demand and supply in terms of water supply in Greater Freetown and the Western Area.

The Guma Valley Water Company under the Freetown Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan and Investment Studies Project has identified several projects which if implemented will solve the water supply challenges in the Western Area between 2022 to 2050.

According to the Managing Director of Guma, Ing. Maada S. Kpenge, the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Water Resources in partnership with the African Development Bank, African Water Facility and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency held a one-day Investment Forum with the theme “Improving Safe Clean Water Supply and Sanitation in the Western Area”, to discuss financial and operational gaps within the WASH Sector and to find ways to mitigate them; discuss new strategies for sustainability and commit to a specific plan of action going forward.

“For us at Guma, we want to raise capital to build new dams and associated infrastructure at Hamilton, Kongo, and Toothik at Regent to bridge the huge gap in demand for water supply in the Western Area”.

Ing. Kpenge said Guma’s vision and mission are geared towards providing access to safe, affordable, and sustainable water services for all people living in formal and informal communities within Guma’s service area. He added that Guma has a very old and limited infrastructure due to limited investment over the past years.

The Guma MD said Guma relies principally on a single source, the Guma Dam, and that over 90% of the total water supply to Freetown is from the dam and treatment plant at Mile 13.

The Guma MD further disclosed that the company’s revenue mobilization has quadrupled over the past 10 years after the implementation of the 100 Days Transformation Program in 2012. He said the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) through an Institutional Strengthening Program has further positioned the Company to be a commercially viable institution.

On the medium to long-term projects identified to solve the water supply challenge in the Western Area, Ing. Kpenge said that the Western Area has been divided into 4 Zones.

Zone 1 is Western Area Urban and the construction of a new dam at Hamilton is expected to produce 47 million liters of water per day. The proposed Hamilton system will cost $180 million to build.

Zone 2 includes the Mountain communities of Regent, Leicester, Gloucester, IMATT, Hill Station, FBC, and Bathurst. For these areas, the construction of new dams at Kongo, Regent (16.5 million liters per day), and Toothik ( 24 million liters per day) is being proposed for $ 107.6 million.

Zone 3 includes the area between Hastings to Waterloo, and the proposed Gbogboyema Dam at Waterloo with a daily production capacity of 32.7 million liters is expected to solve the water supply situation in these communities. The construction of the Gbogboyema Dam is expected to cost around $ 128 million.

Zone 4 includes areas between York and Waterloo (York, Benguema, Tokeh, John Obey, Kent, Russell/Kerry Town, Deep Eye Water, etc.). Smaller water sources in these communities will be developed/rehabilitated for $ 38.1 million and with a total production capacity of 33.2 million liters per day.

The WASH Investment Forum brought together key personnel from the Ministries of Water Resources, Finance, Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Planning and Development, Gender, Health and Sanitation, FCC, WARDC, Board and Management of Guma Valley, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, EU, FCDO, Embassies of China and Germany, JICA, and other relevant stakeholders.

The African Development Bank and other international partners pledged their continued support to the WASH Sector in Sierra Leone.