Speaking on the issue to AYV, GVWC Assistant Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Alie Kabba, explained that on 14th April 1961, the company was established for the purpose of supplying potable water from Sussex to Allen Town for a population of about 100,000 people.
He added that GVWC turned 57 years old on Saturday 14 April 2018, adding that it was first established by an ordinance signed into law by Governor Sir Maurice Dorman representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1961.
However, he went on to state that despite the numerous challenges ranging from aged infrastructure, rapid population growth; little or no government subvention; added to low tariff rates (Le2.50 per litre of water), encroachment, land grabbing and deforestation of the water catchment areas that have exposed water sources to direct sunlight resulting in them drying up rapidly; added to the weak revenue generation of Guma (managing to run the facility at 80% output) it is still an uphill task.
According to Mr. Kabba, in order to augment water supply to Freetown, the company has been making use of the Kongo Dam and Sugar Loaf water catchment areas at Regent which supplies water to Regent, Leicester, Gloucester, parts of Hill Station, Kamayama, etc; to see how it can improve on the situation, in addition to the Charlotte water supply to Allen Town; while the Cemetery Blue supplies water to parts of Wellington to Grassfield in Kissy; while White Water supplies water to pars of Leicester Road, Barham Road, Berry Street, Allen Street, and upper parts of Mountain Cut down to Will Street and around the Mount Aureol Terrace.
He stated that all these water sources have dried up due to man’s illegal activities – land grabbing, deforestation, etc., leaving residents with no water supply from Guma.
He said that notwithstanding, “the Guma Dam which supplies about 95% of Freetown’s water is relatively okay because of Management’s strict rationing policy implemented over the years.”
He added that in order to ensure that Freetown does not run out of water before the Rainy Season starts, the GVWC management will continue its rationing policy; while undertaking robust leakage control exercises, and ensure that areas currently without water supply receive water using bowsers to fill up water tanks that have been installed in isolated areas with solar powered boreholes drilled in various communities across Freetown about one year ago.