They have expressed concern about what people in the community face with when it comes to accessing clean and potable drinking water. The community have on several occasions called for government’s intervention in addressing the water shortage in the area but to no avail.
The community further claimed that NAWEC installed a water tank in the area which was helping them with water at a time when the coronavirus cases were increasing in the country. However, they claimed that officials who were bringing water for that tank have stopped; citing that it was a contract and the contract had expired, so they are no longer bringing water to the area with a view to helping inhabitants of the area.
The tanks that were stationed by NAWEC during the height of the covid-19 pandemic were World Bank (WB) funded project aimed to opportune beneficiaries uninterrupted water supply that they can use to curb the COVID-19 pandemic
The alkalo of Wellingara, Saikou Ndure, during the President’s last Meet the People’s Tour was quoted as saying: “The lack of water in my community is among the top issues affecting inhabitants. Sometimes you have to wait for four hours or even more hours before one gets water.”
Pap Jeng, a welder in the area, who spoke to our reporter in an interview said: “Our biggest problem in the area is the lack of water. The tank that was installed around my workshop was helping us so much. However, it has now stopped and now we are not having water. This is really disturbing us so much. The place where we now get water for drinking is too far. You can have water from the boreholes and perform ablution. However, if you want to have water for drinking you have to go to the shop and buy water,” he said.
“We want the government to help us and address this issue, so that the entire community can have water. In fact, most of the compounds in the area have NAWEC taps, but unfortunately, water is not running out in those taps. I have 17 years in the area and since I came to the area, the issue of water shortage has always been an issue. Sometimes we have to go to the shop and buy water for drinking until at a time when you are closing from work. Again, what surprises us is that NAWEC officials sometimes bring bills to us even if we are not getting water.”
“The community of Wellingara Bantaba have been encountering acute water shortage for the past years. The water that we even get from the boreholes around the area is not nice. We only use that water for laundering and taking showers,” says Isatou Jawo.
“In fact, even yesterday we had to go and beg people for water. We have a tap in our compound, but for the past three years we have not had water.”
“We use 20 liters of gallons to fetch water from the compounds that have boreholes which are even very far from our community. Normally we do get this water during nights which is not safe for us and it’s not even good for our health considering the distance where we get this water. We are calling on the government, individuals, companies and philanthropists to come to our aid and help us.”
Jomma Sanneh, a woman in her 60s said: “I am an old woman now. All these days I am drinking water from the boreholes which is not nice. The government definitely needs to address the water shortage in the area.”
Assan Mbaye, a resident of the area, equally called for support, claiming that inhabitants of the area have faced acute water shortage for the past four to five years.
Pierre Silva, the Public Relations Officer of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) couldn’t be reached for comments at the time of going to the press.