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World Vision Sierra Leone through their Area Development Programme in Lei chiefdom has introduced Gravity Water System in Koema in the Komba Yendeh- Lei Chiefdom, Kono district, eastern Sierra Leone. (Photo: Children of Koyema collecting water from the Gravity.)
Gravity Water System is a water distribution system in which the supply source is located at an elevation higher than the use.
World Vision Sierra Leone introduced Gravity Water System in Koema with a view to providing quality drinking water and also reducing incidences of cholera, dysentery and diarrhoea which hounds the entirety of the chiefdom.
Sahr Mattia (Chief of Koema) tells this story about the unavailability of water and diseases the people once suffered as a result of that. ‘‘We had a very poor water system in our communities in the past.
“We used to launder, bathe, and even drink from an open well, as a result our children and even we the aged used to suffer from diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery with incidences of death.” Says Chief of Koema
He said now it is minimized with the introduction of gravity water system, “I am very happy with what World Vision is doing in our communities.’’ It is recorded that 1 billion of the World’s population lacks access to safe water.
Koema is 57 kilometres off Koidu Town and is remotely located; but it attracted the attention of World Vision Sierra Leone’s Area Development Programme in Lei chiefdom to establish a Gravity Water System.
Access to Koema with even a four- wheel drive is difficult. Work on Gravity Water System commenced on 8th May, 2011 and is already providing two (2) communities with safe water.
Koema and Kenewa water supply is at the moment in phases. Koema and Kenewa are in the first phase of benefitting from the Gravity Water System. Work is ongoing to provide other communities with safe water soonest.
This is the first time Koema and Kenewa are having access to safe drinking water .
The Gravity Water System owes its source to the Maansa yii (translated in Kono to mean Chief water) water fall at Koema and is intended to provide other fourteen (14) communities with safe water.
Other benefiting communities include: Koreno, Kwangor, Yawandor, Bomboro, Soma, and Teigbor 1, 2, and 3, Madina Yangadu, Teibodei, Kwakor, Bendu and Kenema. The Gravity Water System in Koema has a temporary storage tank measured at 30 cubic metres and accumulates thirty thousand (30,000) litres of water.
There is heightened Community participation in the construction of the dam which is very encouraging. Water is life. Bringing water to these communities means these communities value their lives.
Sylvester Kieh, the Artesian says ‘’There is community participation in the construction of Gravity Water System and this made the work easier for me. The work was quite speedy and everything was in abundance to do the work.
The only problems I had was transporting the materials on rough terrains and sloppy areas.’’
Hassan Babagaleh Jalloh World Vision’s Area Development Programme Manager in Lei says he is fulfilled seeing these communities drinking safe water preventing the people from astringent harmful water burn diseases.”
World Vision Sierra Leone is one of the leading US based Christian organisations in the country assisting communities with livelihood support and also promoting the welfare of children by supporting education, health and development at underprivileged and remote communities.
By Saidu Bah
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