As Freetown continues to be hit by water crisis, the United States Embassy in Sierra Leone on Monday commissioned the Rain Water Harvesting project that will store about three million, six hundred and seventy one thousand, four hundred ninety five  (3,671,495) gallons they receive from Guma.

This water which will be saved by the Embassy will then be sent to different communities, according to the Facility Manager, Dennis Garde, stating that the Water Harvester will store up to 1.8 million gallons of rain water and this will double during a heavy raining season and this will make the embassy Self- sufficient throughout the year for the compound and for residents in their environs.

“This will save all that water for the local community; we do not need the Guma supply as there will be lot of water that we will not be using” the Facility Manager said, adding that the water is filtered through the filtering system; when the water falls from the sky, it is collected in the tanks that tabulate it with propeller like objects. This object will keep moving to eliminate any kind of organic growth.

Garde stated that the whole project which costs about thirteen million dollars ($13M) took about one and half year of actual work on the construction of the facilities.
While commissioning the Rain Water Harvesting Project, the US under Secretary for Management, Patrick Kennedy, said Sierra Leone was identified as the perfect location to pilot the Rain Water collect project on a large scale to meet the demands of the modern United States Embassy.

This project, he went on, “is the first and only one in any of the United States Government facilities overseas”. This system is modelled after a similar system was developed by an American Fulbright scholar in Bo of 2013. This was constructed to collect and then store twelve thousand eight hundred and sixty litres of waters at the Mokonde Primary School.

The Under Secretary stated that this sample by the Fulbright scholar “demonstrated that this can be done both on a large and small scale”.

Speaking about the reason for the Embassy to save water in Sierra Leone, Kennedy disclosed that the coastal Sierra Leone receives 195 inches of water each year, but that even though there is a lot of rain fall there are certain factors which can cause loss of rain water and these are soil conditions and topography of the Western Area Peninsular “causing nearly all rainfall to become surface run-off, and during the dry season water can be in short supply and we at the Embassy are committed to have good storage for the country’s water”.

Explaining about the operations of the facility, Patrick Kennedy stated that water is filtered through a sand filter and then stored in two large tanks, under ground pipes, then draw clean water from these two tanks and sent to the US Embassy compound for its use.

“With this launching today, the Rain Water Harvesting project will provide water for the Embassy and its staff residents throughout the year and for many years to come”.

By Betty Milton
Tuesday May 17, 2016

Originally published