Residents of Kuntaur Fula Kunda have lamented the extreme hardship they encounter daily in getting water for their domestic consumption as the village frequently runs out of water.
Talking on behalf of the villagers, Alhagi Jaiteh the youth leader of the village indicated that while many villages around the country are struggling for safe drinking water in recent years, the situation in Kuntaur Fula Kunda is rather extreme.
Mr Jaiteh said there is only one hand pump in the locality, the other three are either in bad conditions or out of use and the consequence of this is disastrous for the community.
He said many students are dropping out of school especially girls because they are frequently tasked to fetch water for their households by travelling around the community for possible sources.
The Kuntaur Fula Kunda youth leader asserted that the girls and women have to wake up as early as 5 o’clock in the morning to trek long distances in search of water for sustenance.
He said the recent floods in the community seem to have worsen the situation as the community is now relying on the hand pumps at the lower and upper basic schools, thus creating an uncomfortable environment for the pupils and students.
Mr Jaiteh noted that the concerns among the locals is that parents would have no choice but to remove not only the girls from schools but the boys as well to fetch water as most of the parents are either too old or lack the strengthen to travel far in search of safe drinking water.
In addition to the serious water scarcity, Mr Jaiteh said the quality of the water is another cause for concern as it is causing several health hazards as contaminations of drinking water with iron impurities, chloride etc were found in the drinking water which was evident in the recent research conducted by the department of water resources.
Jaiteh said he is puzzled by the fact that after 52 years of independence, a village as populated as Kuntaur Fula Kunda in the heart of Niani only 3 to 4 kilometres from Kuntaur wharf town, has not got a single tap let alone safe drinking water.
He said access to safe drinking water is essential for all to preserve good health and better quality of life.
The youth leader said many local initiatives have been taken but all of them have proven insufficient. He noted that the community has been involved in many fundraising which resulted to the digging of two boreholes but the water from one of them was deemed unsuitable according to the test conducted.
Mr Jaiteh went further to state that after another recent survey by clean and hygiene water experts, the only borehole left had to be abandoned too due to health and safety concerns with the tank.
Jaiteh concluded by calling on the central government, the area council, Non-Governmental Organisations and philanthropists to consider the terrible water situation in their community and take necessary measures to help solve the problem.
Any person or organisation wishing to assist the village could reach them through the following numbers: (+220) 6338546/3169668.