China to construct two major water dams in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 June 2019:

Sierra Leone’s minister of water resources – Dr Jonathan Bonopha Tengbe, has confirmed to the Sierra Leone Telegraph that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese engineering firm – China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) to carry out the Orugu and Congo Dams and Water Treatment Plants projects.

This important signing he said, is consistent with the Bio-led government’s priority to increase access to water supply in the capital Freetown.

Dr Tengbe who is currently in China, signed the MOU in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, 4 June 2019, in the presence of the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to China – Ernest Ndomahina and the Managing Director of Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) Maada S. Kpenge.

Situated in the Mortem village on the Regent to Grafton highway, the Orugu Dam and Treatment Plant will enable GVWC to supply a minimum of 70 million litres of water per day.

The Orugu Dam will provide access to clean, safe drinking water to over 600,000 people living in communities in the East of Freetown, especially Grafton, Jui, Waterloo, Allen Town, Calaba Town, Wellington and Kissy. It will also support the Rokel River Water Supply, for which the feasibility study is on-going.

Located in the upper reaches of Regent, the Congo Dam and its Treatment Plant when completed, will supply 30 million litres of water per day to the mountain communities of Regent, Leicester, Gloucester, Kortright/Fourah Bay College, Charlotte, Bathurst, IMATT and Hill Station.

After thorough due diligence conducted on CGGC in Ghana by the Ministry of Water Resources, the government of Sierra Leone, CGGC and GVWC will commence evaluation of the technical aspects and environmental impacts of the projects.

Both the government and CGGC will agree innovative financing solutions for the projects that will not pose a great debt burden on the people of Sierra Leone.

Speaking in the UK to the Sierra Leone Telegraph about this latest development, Dr Abdul Anasa Sesay (Photo), a globally renowned specialist in water treatment and engineering, commended the government but said he is hoping that the Sierra Leone government will ensure that the construction contract with CGGC will include a clause that guarantees technology, knowledge and skills transfer to Sierra Leone.

“It is very important that the Chinese company utilises as much local labour (local content) in carrying out the construction works, as well as ensure that Sierra Leoneans are trained in managing and maintaining the facilities, once completed,” Dr Abdul Anasa Sesay told the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph.

About China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC)

CGGC is a Chinese construction and engineering company that has delivered infrastructure projects throughout Africa and the developing world. In 2015, CGGC successfully commissioned the Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project in Ghana, a $273 million water treatment facility supplying 250 million litres of water per day across Accra, Ghana.

9 Comments

  1. Why is it that China is now the dominating power in Sierra Leone? And Africa a as a whole? From one colonial master to another..what is the matter with us black people? From enforced slavery to capital debt invited slavery. This a serious tragedy of a gigantic proportion to Black people.

    I fervently believe that most African leaders, if not majority, do not represent their national interest. They have hidden agendas that most of the public may not be aware of due to the invisible power of the elites who work to distort the general perception of the civil society and the general public.

    Get the Chinese out of Sierra Leone and allow latitude to our Black engineers. They can execute the jobs if given the opportunity to practice and become perfect. How long can we depend on other foreign powers to keep our country running?

  2. Its so sad to see our brother Africans berating the Chinese when they go out out of their way to help push us unto the path of development. We are well aware of what the Europeans have done to us where development is concerned. We have been used and abused. Let us give the Chinese a chance. They do have our interest, not as much as we would like, but nevertheless our interest.

    Europeans on the other hand would rather continue their exploitation of Africans and being egged on and backed by fellow Africans because they have a score to settle with the Chinese.

  3. I never thought a moment would come when I would be in any agreement with Saidu Conteh. This time all his comments are rooted in love of country and a real fear that unless the Minister of water resources, Jonathan Tengbe was completely aware of all the intricacies involved in the agreement signed with the Chinese, he may have opened the gates of a future curse on the country which would threaten its sovereignty and plunge it into an uncertain future – a future of being recolonised by the Chinese.

    Implicit in Saidu’s comment is not the too-far-fetched notion that if the nation is not extremely careful with these loans from the Chinese, generations yet unborn will find themselves enslaved by them, which could well lead to a war of liberation, something that the Continent now feels is behind it.

    To reinforce his assertion, Saidu Conteh gives the example of what is happening right now in Sri Lanka, where the Chinese have taken over their sea port because the Sri Lankans cannot pay back the loan involved. Other examples given by Saidu are quite in place.

    Although at this stage it is just a memorandum of understanding that Jonathan Tengbe has signed, we must be totally alert to ensure that we are not being taken on a fatal ride once again. we must be particularly interested in the final stipulations of the agreement in terms of how, for example, it will affect employment in the country.

    The Chinese have the habit of bringing everything from their country, including workers and materials, to the detriment of what is locally available in our country. This should be unacceptable. Youth unemployment is largely responsible for our social ills.

    The concerns of Saidu are in tandem with what I have mentioned in the past in other words; to see that other Sierra Leoneans feel the same way offers some hope – all is not lost. No one cares about so-called sub-Saharan Africa, we must force the rest of the world to give us our due respect through our actions, which demonstrate that we are not brain dead. Only then will the likes of President Trump stop referring to us as shit hole.

  4. Life’s basic necessity has now finally become a front line priority for our government, even though late but it is never too late to resolve. I am cautiously optimistic given the long history of past governments frying our brains.

    I just hope that this new government stands by its motives and delivers on all fronts. The cheese can be very savvy and manipulative. I argue the government to be ahead and to be on top of this agreement making Sierra Leone and it’s people become the only priority and the only interest they seek.

  5. A shortsighted nation will always find itself lagging behind others because its priorities are not always in order. Here comes another financial shackle to be strapped and braced tightly on the fragile ankles of a nation that is already on its knees, a prisoner to huge amounts of external debts. Is it not irresponsible and unfair for generations to come to be sold as debtors and financial slaves even when they are still yet born? I think it is!

    Times may change, a moment could come when agreements will be thrown out of the window, ripped apart and replaced by lawlessness, violence and greed, as was the case in Iraq where America’s insatiable desire for oil was their principal motive for waging an illegal war that took millions of innocent lives.

    And what words of condemnation did the UN utter? Absolutely nothing! What will your grandchildren say to their belligerent creditors, if without notice,they decide repayment of their debts have long been overdue and for such a reason consider it appropriate to take forceful possession of all the resources of your nation, as quickly and as promptly as possible.

    And what if, against all the provisions of sovereignty guaranteed under international laws and your endless cries, begging and pleadings for mercy and forgiveness they still went ahead and seize all you own? How many tears do you think will be sufficient to appease your aged and little ones, and act as a replacement for your uncountable losses?

    Its not my intention to scare anyone, but it could happen. Super Power nations have been known to overthrow, plunder and rob sovereign countries blind, that are way stronger than African countries – what makes you think with all the pyramids of monies you are owing them, it would not happen also to you?

    Its time to stop being naïve and cease the humiliating habit of always borrowing and asking for handouts here and there. Its now a fine moment for us to shoulder our own responsibilities, become independent and good stewards over the resources existence has generously given us.

    To be frank, even though the building of two dams will yield great benefits to us, what is badly and urgently needed presently is a serious reorganising and decongestion of Freetown. We need to get large numbers of people to move out of Freetown and its surrounding areas! Before making any attempts to build future dams, this has to be done.

    We should solicit and seek for private investments from Real Estate and Environmental Giants with finances and the expertise, that may be looking on such a venture as a lucrative business prospect.

    Building another modern, highly organised Capital city would have been the best thing that have ever happened to us as a nation, but such mind-boggling monies to bring such a laudable dream to reality are just not there..(sigh) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  6. The only thing that is worrying me about CHINESE AID/LOAN, is that the CHINESE may want to ask the government at a later date to SURRENDER our PORTS and DAMS to them for TOTAL control because, we can’t repay the LOANS for these projects.

    They love to possess SEA PORTS in particular. Don’t ask me why. Countries such as DJIBOUTI, etc have experienced such situations. But I don’t think Sierra Leone will allow the CHINESE at any given time to ask us to SURRENDER/LEASE our PORTS/DAMS for years for them to manage. That will never happen. We will be watching.

  7. Based on my recent experience in Freetown, this is the major challenge the New Direction is facing. The Guma Valley Dam is one issue, because personally, I believe that the major issue is the poor water infrastructure around Freetown. Rubber pipes are all over the place, even inside gutters, which is unhealthy.

    People are blatantly displaying disrespect by cutting pipes that don’t belong to them, in desperation because “Water is Life”. They are doing whatever it takes to survive. I even sometimes fear that if the government refuses to take control of this situation, there is a potential that sporadic fighting might break out in some lawless areas of the city.

    Sierra Leone is not part of the Sahara Desert because we have so much water that it usually becomes a problem during the rainy season. I was embarrassed few years ago when our leadership was asking Saudi Arabia (desert country) for help in solving our water problems.

    I hope and pray that the minister will also focus on treating the water problems holistically. But at the moment I’m having problems controlling my head from spinning because of all the development that this government is undertaking; and I personally believe that if they can continue to stay focused and avoid concentrating on distractions, Sierra Leone will be a paradise within 10 years.

  8. O my good Lord! Pampani – where on earth did you read in the story that the government has gone cap in hand to China? Some of you guys on this great discussion Forum (the best Sierra Leone newspaper discussion forum right now, I think), should have your keyboard strapped on to your back where you cant reach it for a few weeks, until you can learn to read and comprehend. LoL :-)

    I think “oppositioniatis” is a very bad illness that can affect the brain in very strange ways. If you read the story again Pampani, it says that the government and the Chinese will agree suitable financing package that will not put the people of Sierra Leone in unnecessary debt. Is that going cap in hand? Wow. Shocking.

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