The Director General of the National Water Resources Management Agency, Junisa Patrick Bangali Esq., has said the National Water Fund (NWF) would be a game changer in harnessing the country’s dwindling water resources to address its perennial water crises.
He made this statement during a courtesy call on Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister, Dr David Moinina Sengeh at State House, on the need to launch the NWF. The engagement was also attended by other officials from the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation (MWRS), the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
The DG further informed the Chief Minister that the Agency has continued to manage water from its sources, and work continues on the establishment of the National Water Fund Steering Committee, the highest decision-making body of the Water Fund, as prescribed by the National Water Resources Management Agency Act of 2017.
“The government has made a commitment to put forward a seed amount of US$2 million so that the Water Fund will be operational. Similarly, the Catholic Relief Services- Sierra Leone has made a commitment to source US$20 million toward the management of the Western Area Peninsula Water Fund WAPWF, which has started operations. ” he said.
Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Dr Sao-Kpato Hannah Isata Max-Kyne, said during the visit that the NWF steering committee was being chaired by the former Chief Minister, and called on the current Chief Minister to grant her permission to co-chair the committee meetings, owing to the possibility that the Chief Minister’s busy schedules might not allow him to be always present at such meetings.
“We have done some substantial work on making the Greenbelt as physical as possible, with the help of CRS. We will soon present the Greenbelt Committee Report to you for possible review, in order that it meets the required purpose.” she said.
In his response, the Chief Minister instructed the NWRMA to officially open the Fund’s bank account, noting that the Ministry of Water Resources should work in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to look into the greenbelt committee report.
The Western Area Peninsula Water Fund is a nature-based, single-basket approach that offers effective and financially sound means to address the growing water security challenges facing Freetown and the Western Area Peninsula. It is believed that the WAPWF would serve as a pilot and the nucleus for the National Water Fund