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Sierra Leone News: Pilot water project through GVWC to start in Kingtom and Aberdeen

Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) will soon experiment with a metering system that collects revenue and monitors leakage and theft. Yesterday, GVWC had a public disclosure meet with residents of Kingtom, on the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) and the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the implementation of a District Metering Area (DMA). GVWC is the implementing entity of the Water Sector Reform Project (WSRP)’s Institutional Strengthening Activity, funded under Sierra Leone Threshold Programme (THP), by the MCCU.  The activities include the pilot intervention of rehabilitating sections of GVWC network and construction of water kiosks in the District Metering Areas (DMAs) of two pilot areas in Freetown; Kingtom and Aberdeen.  “The pilot intervention is designed to test and implement innovative approaches that will improve and sustain water service delivery in selected DMAs and contribute to an increase in the revenue generation capacity of the Company,” said GVWC Monitor and Evaluation Manager, Alie Kabba. He explained, “GVWC has developed an Environmental and Social Management Plan (EMAP), and a small-scale Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) in adherence to Section 27(I) and (2) of the Environmental Protection Agency Act 2008, MCC Environmental Guidelines and other international standards guidelines.” Manager Kabba further explained that the public disclosure is one of the project requirements. “You need to inform the public of the environmental and social impact of the program and our mitigation plans.” “Today we are trying to get consensus from the stakeholders in Kingtom to agree with our work. It is based on this agreement that EPA will license us, thus subsequently forge ahead with this project.” Explaining about the Kingtom DMA project, Kabba explained that a bulk meter would be installed at the main distribution supply pipe at the Kingtom roundabout. This meter would record all the water coming into the Kingtom community. Meters would also be installed in all households in Kingtom. “At the end of the month we would read the meter at the main distribution supply and also meters at the households and we would tally the readings to see if the numbers reconcile. If the numbers do not add up then we would know how much water we are loosing from leakages or from illegal connections and then take corrective measures,” he explained.  GVWC Planning and development Manager, Ibrahim C. Bah, said that the vision of company is, “by 2023 everyone in Freetown should have access to water 24-hours a day.” Councilor Murray Conteh said this project is vital especially for a place like Kroo Bay slum which has thousands of kids “languishing at night” in search of water. Representative of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said, the company needs to submit an ESMP and an Environmental Health Impact Assessment Studies (EHIAS). He said GVWC has contacted Adam Smith International to prepare the report, which has recently been submitted. “However, we cannot just issue out a license without a public disclosure to the community about the project; it’s negative impact, mitigation methods and the positive impact to the community,” he added.

OG/13/3/19

By Ophaniel Gooding

Tuesday March 19, 2019.

 

 

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