Awoko News: 27 November 2017
n Sierra Leone, there is an abundance of water with many overflowing rivers and, of course, the Atlantic Ocean.
But many of the 7 million people still suffer without access to clean and safe water, especially in rural communities. According to the UN, only 58% of the population has access to clean and safe water.
Many schools don’t have access to water or sanitation facilities. The Ebola epidemic revealed a clear problem with water and sanitation facilities at health centres and hospitals.
The lack of water at health centres limited treatment options and prevented sanitary conditions.
Water facilities at the 34 Military Hospital, in Wilberforce, are abysmal and patients suffer because of it.
The Maternity Wing of the Military Hospital had access to one 500 litre tank of water, which was supplied by a Guma pipe.
The pipe-borne water was often not functioning and water had to be hauled from other locations to service the operation theatres, washrooms, delivery areas and patient care wards.
The Hospital Matron, Colonel Amelia Paris, said the Wilberforce community is still suffering from the lack of pipe-borne water and the current tank at the 20 bed maternity facility is far too small to meet the demands of patients and hospital staff.
Captain, Dr. Billy Sankoh noted that during emergencies at the hospital the unavailability of clean safe water made work very difficult for theatre staff, nurses and doctors.
The Rotary Club of Freetown, with support from other Rotary Clubs, last week provided a bore hole and water storage tanks and a sump pump to fill the reserve tanks.
The reserve water is now 13,000 litres and should be enough to service the Maternity Wing for several days at a time.
Rotary Club President,
Samuel Itam, said, “To maintain proper hygiene and sanitation, Rotary decided to step in with a water project to alleviate the water challenges in the maternity hospital.”
Colonel Paris added, “The new water facility will improve hygiene and sanitation in the Hospital and it will save more lives.”
Captain, Dr. Billy Sankoh said, “Now that the Maternity Wing has its own water facility, it will made work easier and staff will be more efficient in their duties.”
By Ade Campbell