The Government of Sierra Leone through the Guma Valley Water Company Master Plan is projected to splash $125 million to connect mountain communities in the Western Area of Freetown.
This comes about after residents of the mountain communities expressed the need for the project to be expedited to reduce the burden faced fetching water from the stream.
Speaking to A-Z Newspaper, Maraima Sesay, a cookery seller in Sumaila Town said she finds it difficult to pay high sum of money everyday just to make water available in her cookery shop. She said that she has to pay youths to do the fetching to enable run her business.
“Much of the profit goes on water considering the roughness of the road and the long distance covered to and from the stream,” she admitted, calling on Guma to fast-track the plan for them.
Amadu Kalokoh resides in Kuntoloh in the East end of Freetown where people depend on stream water largely, said that he has to fetch 50 gallons of water before going to school every day to take care of their household, and after school, he will fetch more water for the house.
The Chief Engineer of the Guma Valley Water Company, Ibrahim Chernor Bah said the Master Plan covers four thematic zones including the Mountain connectivity which is in zone two of the pandhich might take up to 2035.
Guma was established on 14th April 1961 by an Ordinance of Parliament and has the primary objective of providing safe and affordable water to the residents of Greater Freetown. The 1961 Ordinance that created the Company was repealed and replaced by the Guma Valley Water Company Act No 6 of 2017.
The Guma Valley Water Company Act No. 6 of 2017 expanded the mandate of the company to cover the whole of the Western Area with a population of over one million residents.
Guma Valley Water Company relies principally on a single source, the Guma Dam, with over 90% of the total water supply to Freetown supplied from the Guma Dam and the Guma Water Treatment Plant at Mile 13.
Other sources include Kongo Dam, Sugar Loaf, Charlotte Weir, Blue Cemetery, White Water, etc.;
However, all these secondary sources are seasonal and only supply during the rainy season to early dry season period.
Guma Valley Water Company has undertaken extensive layingsubdomainsains to many communities in the Western Area totaling about 20km which represents an increase of 240% since 2018.
The Company has also increased its customer base from 22,000 in 2018 to 24,000 in 2020 representing a 10% increase.
Guma Valley Water Company has also increased its revenue by 50% since 2018 and doubled its output since 2016.
The Company is currently undertaking several projects such as the Freetown Water Supply Rehabilitation Project, Freetown Water Supply Master Plan, Freetown Emergency Recovery Project, Freetown, WASH, and Aquatic Environment Revamping Project, Mambo, Hamilton and Waterloo New Gravity Schemes which will rehabilitate existing infrastructure and also build new ones to improve on the current water supply situation in the Western Area.