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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, Acute Water Shortage Hits Soja Tong
By Augustine Samba
Aug 31, 2010, 17:12
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Something very unprecedented and unusual for communities living around Guma Valley reservoir areas has gripped Soja Tong in central Freetown, with the settlement living for several weeks now with acute water shortage. This appalling situation is a threat to the lives of children and women as they are forced to get up at night to go in search of water in faraway communities.

A youth leader who identified himself as Sahr Musa Mondeh told our reporter that they were astonished that their community which is very close to the Guma reservoir is going without water at this time of the season. "This situation is very difficult for us because thousands of residents are deprived of supply from Guma," he said.

Mrs. Martha Thompson who lives at Fort Street informed that the problem started when their councilor decided to construct new stand pipes. According to her, since the construction of the new street taps, water supply has been affected. "Now if you dont have money to pay guards attached to the street taps you cant fetch," she maintained, adding that even as late as 3am the boys are always alert, extorting money from residents for every single bucket.

Many parents are now frustrated as to what will be the fate of their children when Schools reopen if the situation continues like that. "Sometimes our children spend hours searching for water whenever the street pumps stop running," said Madam Adama Kamara.

When contacted on the issue, the Public Relations Officer of Guma, Mr. Joseph Musa claimed that technical problem was the cause. "We are not happy with such development but we will do our best to address it," he divulged. He however said that the population for which Guma caters has surpassed their present capacity. "Guma supplies 16.5 million gallons per day but the city is expanding and over crowded everyday," he disclosed.

He disclosed that government and other stakeholders are currently working with the company to establish more dams at water catchments areas to upgrade water supply in the city and its environs. He blamed deforestation by rapacious land grabbers and illegal miners as the major challenge to the water catchments areas.


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