As part of Sierra Leone’s second Water Point Mapping survey, almost 200 surveyors have been sent into the field to gather accurate information on the number and state of Sierra Leone’s water supplies. This will provide important baseline data which is the first stage in a commitment by the President’s Recovery Priorities to improve access to water in 400 rural communities.
For the Ministry of Water Resources, accurate information on rural water supplies is crucial to provide sufficient data for planning and budgeting. Not knowing where and what is available makes it difficult to plan new investment, decide which schemes to rehabilitate and assess previous strategies and approaches to safe sustainable water supplies.
Water point mapping helps assess the availability of clean and safe water in communities. It aids investment decisions and planning by showing where water supply services exist and where they are needed. The survey will be repeated every two years, tracking progress in the sector and highlighting challenges.
Poor water and sanitation, as well as unsafe hygiene practices are the main causes of diarrhoea, one of the main child killers in the region. According to figures from UNICEF more than 250,000 children under the age of five die from diarrhoeal diseases each year.. By improving access to safe water in the provinces, the President’s Recovery Priorities will also help reduce infant and child mortality, one of the key results targeted for the Health sector
Momodu Maligi, Minister of Water Resources says: “Our drive to provide Sierra Leone’s people with clean water and ensure that water supplies are sustainable over time must begin with proper planning and accurate data. This Water Point Mapping survey will give us a credible start point, especially when it comes to identifying communities of greatest need, and by providing the information to assess service delivery in the sector, it gives stakeholders a powerful tool to hold us to account.”