January 11, 2023
The Government of Iceland through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs has committed to support the Government of Sierra Leone’s programme, ‘Improving Access to Climate Resilient Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Services for Improved Livelihoods and Child-Friendly Environment in Rural Fishing Communities’. The project will improve water and sanitation services in 16 fishing communities in Bonthe, Western Area Rural, Port Loko, Moyamba, Kambia and Pujehun districts.
According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2017, only 17 per cent of the people in Sierra Leone have access to basic sanitation services, meaning that 83 per cent of the population does not have basic sanitation facilities, and illnesses linked to poor sanitation, including diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition are prevalent.
With respect to water supplies, 36 per cent of the population do not have access to basic water supply according to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme 2021 report.
UNICEF applauds the investment by the Government of Iceland to support water, sanitation and hygiene projects among various fishing communities in Sierra Leone.
This generous contribution will enable UNICEF to support the Government to provide the facilities required to facilitate good hygiene practice, which is one of most cost-effective ways of saving lives.
The contribution will also support progress towards reaching all the other development goals, including reducing poverty, maintaining good health, keeping children in school, restoring dignity, as well as achieving gender equality.
In 2019, the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs collaborated with UNICEF and the Government of Sierra Leone on the development of water and sanitation in 3 coastal communities including Tombo, Goderich and Konacrydee (Port Loko).
This new and expanded project will run from 2023 to 2026 and will build on the lessons learned from 2019 to ensure that over 53,000 people, including children in 16 target communities have access to and use basic water and sanitation services to reduce the risk of life-threatening WASH-related diseases and improve their wellbeing and livelihoods.