Leaking pipes and illegal connections are major contributing factors to Freetown’s poor water supply system, the government agency responsible for the service, Guma Valley Water Company, has said.
An official was quoted on Monday, 3 June 2019, as saying that the company had estimated that 50 percent of its pipes were damaged and oozing water all over the city.
“This is not good for business, or for any institution,” Francis Lahai, an engineer with the company, said.
“Another challenge for Guma is that many people don’t pay water rate,” he added.
Illegal connection to water pipes is a rampant practice in Freetown and it has been encouraged by the erratic supply, especially to public taps.
People who don’t have taps in their homes resort to cutting pipes that run into the homes of well-to-do residents to access water.
Others divert the pipe to their own homes.
Lahai said Guma was looking seriously to mend the situation by changing from blue rubber (PVC forms) pipes to ductile iron pipes.
The poor water supply service in Freetown has been blamed on archaic nature of the city’s water infrastructure.
Poorly supervised construction has also contributed to the problem as residents have indiscriminately cut down connections which has left many homes without water supply for years.
Efforts are underway under a US funded project to fix the city’s water supply issue.