BY HAWA DEEN
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS UNIT
The United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone Ambassador David Reimer on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, made a courtesy call on Sierra Leone’s Minister of Water Resources Ing. Philip Lansana at the New England Ville Office of the MWR.
During ensuing deliberations, the two people dilated on the challenges in the water resources sector and efforts made to surmount them. The Honourable Minister expressed gratitude to the government and people of the USA for providing funds, through the now completed MCC Threshold Programme which targeted the energy and water sector. He outlined the areas of support the water sector benefitted from, ranging from institutional and capacity building support. Improvement in the regulatory framework, policy review and formulation, as well as conditions assessment of the Guma Dam, transmission, reservoirs and pipe network. He pinpointed the District Metered Area system and Kiosk Demonstration Pilot Project in Kingtom and Aberdeen as another benchmark of the completed Threshold Progam. The Minister expounded on President Julius Maada Bio’s focus on water supply in the country as a social development goal and the tremendous efforts the government has made to ameliorate the water problem in the country. He further informed the US Ambassador about the seven (7) towns water supply project fully funded by the Government of Sierra Leone that is ongoing and expressed optimism of its impact on water supply in the country. Ing. Philip Lansana expounded on other projects to help curb if not eliminate the water problem in the country, such as the Rural Water Supply projects that have seen the construction of 100 solar-powered boreholes in other communities across the country. “Water is very essential as it supports all sectors especially health and education,” the Minister averred.
On his part, the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone Ambassador David Reimer commended the government of President Julius Maada Bio for qualifying for the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact program saying that it is a huge investment by the US government in Sierra Leone. He narrated that many countries opted for the MCC award but very few qualified for it and expressed his pleasure at Sierra Leone being one of the few. Ambassador David Reimer pinpointed the two priority sectors of the MCC Compact grant for Sierra Leone, which are energy and food security. He muted that there might be a possibility for some components of water to be considered for a compact support. The Minister urged the US Ambassador to consider support for private sector investment in the water sector, to which the ambassador responded positively. He also used the opportunity to inform the public through the Minister that the US government has lifted all visa restrictions on citizens and government officials and that the Embassy is open to business.