From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sigodi Marah Martin (Pty) Ready to Provide Pure Water for Kabala in Sierra Leone
By Lamin A. Turay
Dec 3, 2008, 17:28

Sigodi Marah Martin (Pty) Ltd, a development and engineering consultancy with more than a decade of experience and result orientation in providing integrated and multi-disciplinary solutions to engineering and other infrastructural developments, is to embark on a safe drinking water project in Kabala, the headquarter town of Koinadugu District in Northern Sierra Leone.

Managing Director of the Sigodi Marah Martin (Pty) Ltd, Mr. Lansana Marah

On Monday 1st December, 2008 the company held a collaborative meeting in the township with the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO), a component of the Ministry of Energy and Power to devise mechanism for the provision of portable water to the people of Koinadugu. The ceremony drew stakeholders, both national and regional together. The personalities included two engineers from Ghana and South Africa in the persons of Joselyn Bernard Narty and Gwerega Dambudzo respectively.

Addressing the gathering on behalf of his people, the Koinadugu District Council Chairman, Councillor Peter Bayuku Conteh lamented over the absence of pure water in the district for so long. "My people had lacked pipe borne water for the past 20 years. So we are happy to see a company with the people at heat to holistically take the contract of engaging in the construction and management of water facilities in our impoverished communities," he noted.

Engineers at work

He said the project would help promote good health facilities to the district as according to him, most of the water used by the people for both drinking and other domestic purposes are not good for human consumption and use. He made a strong recommendation to the team to explore the facilities of the Mungo River that runs through Risarah Musaia in the Folosaba Dembehiah Chiefdom to serve as one of the main water sources for the District since the Yataya Stream can not sufficiently supply the Kabala Township because of the considerable increase in population.

He took the opportunity to plead with the engineers and contractors not to leave their community youths out in job recruitment for the project as a means of providing employment opportunities for them. "Such a consideration will surely ameliorate the unemployment status amongst the youth in the District," he concluded.

Sigodi Marah Martin (Pty) Ltd branch officer, Alusine Marah disclosed that the project is being funded by BADIA- the Arab bank for development, with SALWACO as the implementing partner. He said the object of the project is the provision of clean and safe drinking pipe-borne water for residents of Koinadugu District. "The first and second phases of the project that started in 2007 has been successfully completed as you can see," he proudly stated, adding that the third and final phases are expected to start from January 2010 to be completed in December the same year.

In his contribution, the District Supervisor for Rural Water Supply in the Ministry of Energy and Power, Mr. Mohamed Kandeh revealed that the project was part of the fulfillment of ex-president Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah’s dream to ensure that residents of the district are accessed to clean and safe drinking pipe-borne water to meet some of the requirements of the Millennium Development Goals. He reiterated the deprived status of the township with regards safe and accessible piper-borne for the past several years now. He emphasized that the project, funded by BADIA is to compliment the genuine efforts of ex-president Kabbah with the view to easing the problem of portable water in the district.

Councilor Haja Bintu Mansaray of Ward 144 in Wara Wara Yagala Chiefdom expressed thanks and appreciations to the funding BADIA Bank, through the Government of Sierra Leone for their timely intervention to ease the contaminated water burden in the district. "Kabala Township is situated on a mountainous area where residents find it extremely difficult to access water during the dry season," she said. She therefore implored the service providers to work well and in the genuine interest of the people of Kabala to actualize the provision of the much needed commodity. "On behalf of my people, I implore you the engineers and contractors to accomplish this project of providing sustainable and safe clean pipe-borne drinking water within the stipulated timeframe." She ended.

Facilities at the Water Works site at Yagala Village in the Wara Wara Yagala Chiefdom were surveyed and examined by a team comprising the host District Council Chairman and Councillor Haja Bintu Mansaray of Ward 144, the two visiting engineers and the District Supervisor for Rural Water Supply in the Ministry of Energy and Power, Mr. Mohamed Kandeh where thorough planning was done for the provision of accessible, clean and safe drinking pipe-borne water for the various communities.

According to the Production Manager of RadioBintumani F.M 93:7 Mohamed Bobson Mansaray who spoke to our reporter afterwards, most of the diseases in thedistrict are being caused by poor contaminated water. He too used the occasion to add his voice of plead to the donors and the contractors to speed the completion of the project as the people are anxiously waiting to get clean water

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