In response to climate change, the Sierra Leonean government is launching a new programme to build the resilience of rural fishing communities, particularly in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors. The Icelandic government will provide US$ 6.4 million.
A climate resilience programme is launched in Sierra Leone. The initiative, funded by the Icelandic government to the tune of $6.4 million, aims to improve access to climate-resilient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for 16 rural fishing communities in the West African country.
The four-year programme will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will build new drinking water supply (pumping, storage, distribution) and sanitation facilities in eight communities in the districts of Port-Loko and Moyamba.
The second phase of the programme will be implemented in eight other communities in Bonthe, in the western rural area, Kambia and Pujehun. “The programme will benefit 53,327 people, including 26,130 men and 27,197 women, including children,” says the Sierra Leone Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. At least eight health facilities in the targeted communities will also have their water, sanitation and basic hygiene services strengthened, including through the construction of appropriate waste management systems.
The programme, which is also supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), will also benefit 1,000 children aged 3 to 5 years who will attend early childhood development centres in Sierra Leone.
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Overall, the work to be carried out in 16 rural communities across the country over the next few years will increase access to water and sanitation in Sierra Leone. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), by 2022, drinking water coverage was 53%. At the same time, only 16% of the population has access to basic sanitation services, according to UNICEF.