THE government of India has signed a $15 million loan agreement with Sierra Leone to for a drinking water project in the West African country.
The funds will be provided through the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India, which is a specialised financial institution set up for financing, facilitating, and promoting foreign trade of the South Asian country. It is wholly owned by the Indian government.
According to the Indian High Commission in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, the funds will be used to increase the capacity of drinking water facilities in four cities – Mongo in Falaba District, Njala-Mokonde in Moyamba District, Mattru Jong in Bonthe District, and Daru in Kailahun District.
Jocob Jusu Saffa, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development explained that the civil war in Sierra Leone between March 1991 and early January 2002 caused the destruction of drinking water installations in these four towns.
He added that their rehabilitation and construction of new facilities would significantly reduce the lack of drinking water in the targeted areas.
More than 100,000 Sierra Leoneans are expected to benefit from continuous access to drinking water following the completion of the project in question.
The project is also expected to solely increase the current national drinking water coverage by about 0.6 percent, and contribute to Sierra Leonean authorities’ plans to increase the rate of access to drinking water from the current 59.6 percent to at least 80 percent come the year 2023.