70% of water companies fail compliance test…Parliament institutes tougher actionsMarch 30, 2021
By Abu Bakarr Kargbo
The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Water Resources chaired by Hon Lahai Marrah has on Thursday 26th March 2021 decided to take tough measures against water sachet producing companies, relative to compliance and safety.
In an oversight meeting held at the Committee Room of Administrative Building in Freetown, admits the presence of various stakeholders from the water sector, the Committee, after ascertaining some fact deciding to institute compliance level of water production.
Briefing stakeholders of the water sector, the dynamic Chairman of the Water Resources, Hon. Lahai Marrah said as parliament they are doing one of their major functions as inscribed in the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone which is an “oversight” role to monitor the operational activities of the water sector in the country. He said the engagement is a continuation of several engagements with water companies across the country, in light of compliance with water regulatory policies.
Most importantly, the continuous meeting with the various stakeholders, including the Water Union, the Ministry of Health, Standard Bureau, the regulatory agencies, and the committee outlined stringent measures, relative to possession of health certificate, quality test without which their operations will not continue. A draft operational document and report for intended legislation form part of the process
Water Union expressed satisfaction with Parliament on the ongoing enjoyments with them and promised to comply with laws relating to water regulation policies.
During their deliberations to ascertained compliance, the committee observed that 70% of water companies failed their compliance level with Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Health, and Standard Bureau.
Hon. Lahai Marah and his committee members resolved that companies who failed to comply with laws of the land would soon stop operation immediately or face the full penalty of the law.
MPs raised concerns and questions over the safety standard of water companies operating in the country, relative to consumption. The Committee unanimity insisted to move very tough measures against defaulting water companies listed by the regulatory bodies.
Both representatives, from both Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission, Ministry of Health, as well as Standard Bureau spoke well on their mandate regarding the regulations of water companies in the country and promised the committee that they would work by the mandate, instead of compelling to comply with due diligence.
Some MPs blamed the agencies for failing to carry out their mandates, to enhance compliance for the safety and good health of the people of Sierra Leone.
However, certain water companies were commended by MPs for complying and requested them to do more in providing safe and affordable water for the population of the country.