Guma Valley Water Company in partnership with the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) and the Freetown Polytechnic has in a ceremony held at the Polytechnic’s complex at Kissy Dock Yard certified 60 Artisan Plumbers and Entrepreneurs.

The refresher training of the Artisan Plumbers and Entrepreneurs is one of the activities under the Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environment Revamping Project (WASHAERP) being funded by the African Development Bank and implemented by Guma Valley Water Company.

This activity is aimed at empowering the youths of Sierra Leone which constitute over 62% of the country’s population with vocational and managerial skills.

According to Mohamed A.R. Kamara, Project Coordinator at the Freetown Polytechnic, the objective of the training was to properly prepare 20 groups of Plumbers and Entrepreneurs (2 plumbers and a manager per group) who will not only be involved in the installation of water meters at Guma Customers’ premises in Freetown, but to also constitute them to serve this purpose beyond the life of this project.

“Today is a remarkable day for our youths in Sierra Leone, it has been a long process entailing training of 60 youths in entrepreneurship and Plumbing. They had a few weeks training at NAYCOM in entrepreneurship and then came over to us for refresher course in plumbing and installation of meters”, he added.

Making a statement at the ceremony, the Deputy Youth Commissioner Emmerson Kamara, said the training of the young people will equip them with skills to fight poverty; “as a Government and a Commission that believes in human capital development, we are quite aware of the challenges of unemployment across the country and for us to fight the high unemployment rate, we need to provide opportunities in terms of skills training, entrepreneurship training that will provide youths with employment and to be self-employed”.

The Acting Managing Director Guma Valley Water Company, Ing. Francis Lahai said plumbers are very important in our society as they help create and maintain the nation’s infrastructure.

“Plumbers install all of the water, drainage, waste and vent, and gas piping systems in buildings of all types, along with city’s sewer and water services”, he asserted.

Ing. Lahai added that Guma will be enlisting the Plumbers that have been trained in the fight against leakages which he termed as a menace in our society. He employ the graduands to do a good job that will make both Guma and its customers very happy.

The Acting Managing Director furthered that there are many opportunities for Plumbers as they can choose to go into business and that people will always need Plumbers; no matter the state of the economy. “There is job satisfaction in being a Plumber as your efforts will be acknowledged and rewarded”, he concluded.

One of the beneficiaries, Mary Bassie said she is happy to have been trained as a Plumber and that she will do her best to make herself gainfully employed.

Alfred Kanu, a Plumber who also received refresher training in plumbing said he has learnt a lot and hope to harness his skills so that he can set up his own business in the near future.

In September 2021, Guma Valley Water Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) and the Freetown Polytechnic for refresher training in plumbing for youths who already possess trade certificates in Plumbing and business management and assisting them to constitute micro and small medium enterprises capable of undertaking meter installation activities in Freetown that is expected to commence in July 2022.