WASH-Net Sierra Leone

Enhancing and facilitating a multi-stakeholder process that involves various actors across the sector, engender and promote knowledge, identify opportunities for intervention and foster learning and joint action.

Enhancing and facilitating a multi-stakeholder process that involves various actors across the sector, engender and promote knowledge, identify opportunities for intervention and foster learning and joint action.

WASH-Net Sierra Leone - Enhancing and facilitating a multi-stakeholder process that involves various actors across the sector, engender and promote knowledge, identify opportunities for intervention and foster learning and joint action.

WASH-Net Sierra Leone’s Statement on World Water Day in Freetown

A civil society statement delivered by Musa Ansumana Soko, Chair of WASH-Net Sierra Leone and Executive Coordinator of the Youth Partnership for Peace and Development on 22nd March 2014.

Musa Ansumana Soko: Chair of WASH-Net Sierra Leone

Musa Ansumana Soko: Chair of WASH-Net Sierra Leone

Mr. Chairman; His Worship the Mayor of Freetown, Representative of His Excellency the President, Hon. Ministers of Water Resources, Health & Sanitation, AfDB Representative, the World Bank,  Continue reading

Case Study: I’m Voting for Water and Sanitation – Sierra Leone Election Campaign

Overview of the Campaign

Supported by WaterAid Liberia/Sierra Leone and the WASH Consortium, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network (WASH-Net) is a CSO WASH advocacy network in Sierra Leone carrying out advocacy and campaigns to emphasize the need for social mobilization to lift WASH to a higher level of priority.  WASH-Net, and its partners, saw the 2012 Presidential elections in Sierra Leone as a major opportunity to raise water and sanitation as election campaign issues, ensuring  Continue reading


Sierra Leone’s First Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Conference, 2013.

A message from Momodu Maligi, Minister of Water Resources

SIERRA LEONE ANNUAL LOGO1The Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has set itself the ambitious national policy targets of extending water supply and sanitation services to the population by 74% and 66% respectively by the year 2015. To achieve these targets requires a significant increase in the annual rate of water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service delivery. However, as well as the imperative to do more there is also the requirement to do things better – by working in a more professional  Continue reading


SIERRA LEONE ANNUAL LOGO1In May 2011 the Government of Sierra Leone launched the gosl logoNational Water and Sanitation Policy.
The policy contains the ambitious targets of extending national water supply and sanitation coverage to 74% and 66% respectively, aligned to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).WASH Con
In order to evaluate progress towards these important targets the Ministry of Water Resources, in partnership with other central Ministries, has organized a two-day conference on 21-22 May, 2013 to assess the current status of water and sanitation service delivery and to map out directions for change.
The Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Health and Sanitation,
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Education Science and Technology will host this landmark event. The aim of this event – the first of its kind – is to assess the current status of WASH coverage in Sierra Leone and to identify the particular challenges and opportunities that exist to accelerate access to safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable water and sanitation services.

The event will bring together all stakeholders – including national government, local councils, civil society, private sector, local communities and development partners – who play key roles in WASH service delivery. The event is also for organisations and individuals who wish to learn more about Government’s thinking and vision for water resources management, water supply, environmental sanitation and hygiene behavior in both urban and rural contexts.
The conference will address a number of themes:

  • Current status of the WASH sector in Sierra Leone:
  1. National policy targets;
  2. Roles and responsibilities for service delivery including decentralization to local councils;
  3. Water security;
  4. Water supply coverage in Freetown, small towns and rural areas;
  5. Sanitation demand and coverage across Sierra Leone, safe hygiene behavior practices and key institutions for provision of sanitation services
  6. Monitoring indicators and the role of Water Point Mapping
  • Institutional reform in the WASH sector and need for increased support to local councils
  • WASH Sector financing and the coordination of sector support
  • Integrating WASH planning into Local Government development planning
  • How to evolve current service delivery approaches to improve impact and increase sustainability and scale
  • Ensuring public accountability in the WASH sector by strengthening citizen voice in WASH service provision and promoting sector learning
  • Launch of the Ministry of Water Resources’ Rural Water Supply Strategy

Of particular note are the open panel discussions to involve all sector stakeholders as well as a Youth and Children’s Forum to inspire national leaders to take appropriate action going forward. For any queries regarding the conference please contact Khadijatu Gheirawani or Verola Weekes Email: slwashconference@gmail.com

WASH-Net Sierra Leone Deepens Engagement With Local Councils


Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network in Sierra Leone (WASH-Net), has formed a new partnership with various Local Councils in the country.

The partnership is for Councilors, District Chairmen and City Mayors among other key stakeholders in the councils to join the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene advocacy drive.

In a consultative meeting held at the Freetown City Council on Thursday 28th February 2013, the Executive Secretary of WASH-Net Victor Lansana said the partnership with various local councils is to sell out the role and responsibility of WASH-Net and to get WASH Champions within the councils. He said WASH-Net is an advocacy organization working in partnership with WaterAid and the WASH Consortium. He said Councilors represent their people and therefore they must be part of developmental activities happening in their respective Wards and constituencies.

He noted NGO’s are operating in the local councils without the knowledge of the councilors adding that the partnership can serve as an eye opener for councilor to see the need why they should join the network.
He disclosed that after several assessment in the various sectors, WASH-Net have notice that much attention is not pay to water and sanitation. He expressed concerned of politician and institutions that are prioritizing WASH activities into their programmes adding said water is life and sanitation is dignity.

Chairman for Health Committee Councilor Mohamed S. Turay welcomed WASH-NET and team where he stressed on the importance of water and sanitation in the communities and country in general. He said a lot has been said about the WASH committees but with the advocacy wing a lot of impact will be made and assured of effective collaboration between both parties.

Councilors from different Committees commended WASH-Net for such brilliant idea; for especially bringing them together for the first time as non-state actors after elections. All councilors present appealed to WASH-Net continue information sharing which will help them as developmental as developmental partners.

In a related development WASH-Net also visited the Western Rural District Council at Waterloo. During the meeting similar vision was shared among councilor in attendant and other senior members of the councilor.
In his statement WASH-Net Executive Secretary Victor Lansana described the meeting as a forum to identify each other and project a good future. He explained the mandate of Civil Societies in the past and the new direction they have bent on.

He further explained in detailed the background of WASH-Net and the impacts they had made so far in the water and sanitation drive; with special reference to Mr. Musa Ansumana Soko who have been chairing this civil society advocacy process. He said “water is life and sanitation is dignity” and base on these, he said WASH-Net advocate for effect and safe drinking water in the local communities.

He cited the rampant disposal of garbage in the city and the inadequate water supply that is currently plaguing people in the country.
He further recalled that with stronger partnership with other sector stakeholders, the Network also advocated for a separate entity for water resources and today the government of Sierra Leone has adhered to establish a Water Resources Ministry and that WASH-Net role now is to work hand in glove with the new Ministry and other partners like the Local Councilors for efficient budget allocation to the sector and other health related MDA’s.

During the meeting at Waterloo Councilors from the various wards expressed their satisfaction of the meeting and at the same time showcased their past bitter experience in dealing with INGOs or and others who pose to be philanthropists.

According to councilors, NGO’s operate in the Wards without their notice and at the end the people take them to task for what they have not being part of. They encouraged all development partners to take developmental project in their Wards and Constituencies but with their active involvement. Similar visit were paid to Makeni, Bo, Kenema and other District and City Councils across the country.

Press Release: WaterAid Study Report Launched on “Keeping Promises”

Why African leaders need now to deliver on their past water and sanitation commitments

WaterAid has just launched a new report titled Keeping Promises. Keeping Promises is a synthesis of five case studies on financing for the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. The case studies were produced in Ghana, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda.

The report provides in-depth analysis of budgeting, spending and funding gaps on WASH and identifies bottlenecks that are common across the five countries.

In particular, the report highlights one common theme that links all five case studies, and which can be seen more broadly across Sub-Saharan Africa: the neglect in national budgets of sanitation and hygiene. It argues for the overwhelming need to prioritise investment in this area from both domestic resources and overseas aid flows.

WaterAid’s Country Representative in Sierra Leone; Mr. Apollos Nwafor says that:

‘while the Government of Sierra Leone has taken steps to address the sanitation crisis in the country, it must be do more seeing that sanitation is not just the outcome of economic development but a driver for economic growth’ knowing that for every $1 invested in sanitation there is an economic gain of at least $4 in return.

The report reveals that from 1990 to 2010, the population of Sierra Leone grew by 1.8 million, however only 325,000 people secured access to sanitation over the same period. In total, over 5.1 million out of 5.8 million people – 87% of the population – are without access to a safe toilet. 27% use shared latrines while 28% practice open defecation.

These statistics are call for our governments to do more, says Mr. Nwafor who launched the report on Wednesday 20th October stating that now that we have a new government, the opportunity to adequately finance sanitation to achieve the government’s economic blueprint ‘Agenda for prosperity’ is one that should not be missed.

The report also provides very clear recommendation which includes better planning and targeting, quality of financing, aid effectiveness and capacity development

For interview requests or additional information, please contact Apollos Nwafor on apollosnwafor@wateraid.org

  1. For more on the report, go to www.wateraid.org
  2. A table with 53 of the 57 sanitation MDG off track countries that includes the current sanitation coverage levels, the expected date due to meet the MDG on sanitation and the number of children whose lives could be saved can be downloaded from here.
  • The Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership is the key global inter-governmental partnership that brings developing and donor countries together to tackle the water and sanitation crisis.   More information about the Sanitation and Water for All partnership can be found here: www.sanitationandwaterforall.org


Press Release Demanding Strong Government Commitment to End Cholera


9th August, 2012

GOVERNMENT URGED To Expedite Response To Put An End To The Cholera Outbreak in Sierra Leone

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network of Sierra Leone together with partners have noticed with dismay the Cholera Outbreak which has claimed precious lives. With the official pronouncement of the outbreak by the Government of Sierra Leone, action needs to be taken to reverse the spread of this deadly crisis.

The action is part of our collective effort as a network of CSOs to raise the hygiene and sanitation profile and to demand strong government action to stop needless deaths from this preventable illness.

We continue to greatly acknowledge the vital contributions of the Government of Sierra Leone together with its partners like UNICEF, WHO and others but more still needs to be done. We feel there are still more to be done and hence we call on the ministry to continue to support the Blue Flag Volunteers who administer basic first aid and give out lifesaving rehydration salts to people suffering from severe diarrhea and cholera.

Members of the Network have visited various hospitals and have seen the need for urgent action needed by the government to save lives.  In the current call for circulars by the Government of Sierra Leone, we have also noticed with disappointment that there are no separate budget lines for water and sanitation. This is despite our government recently having made commitments during the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in Washington, DC[1]in April.

Fully aware of the daunting tasks this pandemic poses on the Government of Sierra Leone, the Network stands in solidarity with all those who have lost their loved ones to this cholera outbreak.

To this end, we will continue monitoring progress and will strive to ensure that the government takes the necessary action to put an end to the current crisis.

With water among the MDG targets achieved, sanitation is still lagging far behind and we urge government and all partners to scale-up support for this very important but often neglected sector.


Media Contacts:

Komba Fillie                                        Mohamed Konneh
Salone Times Newspaper                   Standard Times Newspaper/WADR
E-mail: kombafillie@yahoo.com       E-mail: mkay0791@yahoo.com
Mobile: +232-77-504569                    Mobile: +232-353576
 Musa Ansumana Soko
Email: musa@wash-net.org               Mobile: +232-78-198224

[1] April 2012: Sierra Leone was represented by Hon. Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Minister for Energy and Water Resources and Hon. Zainab H. Bangura, Minister for Health and Sanitation. 

Why Water, Sanitation and Hygiene matter in the 2012 Elections

Election 2012 campaign commitments

Water and sanitation must be affordable and available to all citizens of Sierra

Leone – and the Government of Sierra Leone must lead the way. This means leadership at all levels – from the President, to the Parliament, to the District Chairmen and Councilors. It means increased investment of skilled staff and funding at local levels where the responsibility to deliver services lies. It means targeting the vulnerable communities, such as women/girls and disabled people, as well as communities in their entirety.

The “I’m voting for safe water and sanitation”, led by WASH-Net Sierra Leone[i] and supported by WaterAid[ii] and the Freetown INGO Urban WASH Consortium[iii] are calling on political parties to commit to deliver the following four actions within the first year in office, as part of their election campaigns for 2012:

  • Deliver on the Government’s recent global commitment[iv] to spend 1 per cent of its GDP on sanitation by 2015, with a separate budget line in the national and local council budgets, and with the vast majority of this funding going to the local level.

  • Set targets for scaling up investment into water by 2015, to meet the MDG commitments on safe drinking water, with the vast majority of this funding going to the local level.

  • Leave no citizen behind: Set a timetable to increase access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in line with Sierra Leone’s MDG commitments, and then beyond to reach all citizens. Ensure schools and health clinics have access to clean drinking water, and improved sanitation facilities, with separate facilities for boys and girls, and accessible facilities for disabled people.

  • Involve citizens in planning and monitoring: ensure there is a structure in place for civil society to meaningfully participate in planning and monitoring for water, sanitation and hygiene services.



Why are water, sanitation and hygiene election issues?

Water, sanitation and hygiene are the cornerstone of a country’s growth and its citizen’s wellbeing. Access to water and sanitation means:

    • A healthier population, which puts less burden on health services.
    • An economically active population. UNDP estimates that for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an $8 return in economic productivity[v]. Sierra Leone cannot afford to ignore water and sanitation.
    • More children, especially girls, are likely to go to school as they are no longer spending time collecting water.
    • Water not only for families and communities, but also for agriculture and industry.

Water and sanitation are also basic human rights as recognised by the United Nations – a right that Sierra Leone has committed to deliver to its citizens through its National Water and Sanitation Policy.

The water and sanitation challenge facing Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is facing big challenges with regards to water and sanitation – and urgent attention is needed if it is to meet its national and international commitments.

Long way to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Sierra Leone’s MDG targets are that by 2015 74 per cent of the population should have access to safe drinking water, and 66 per cent of the population should have access to sanitation. However, currently only 57 per cent of the population has access to safe drinking water and 40 per cent has access to improved sanitation, reducing to 13 per cent if shared latrines are not counted[vi].

Ending the public health emergency cycle: In 2012 cholera has been declared in three districts of Sierra Leone and Freetown, which is claiming lives. Diarrhoea is still the third biggest killer of children under 5 years old. All this puts additional strain on the health care system.

Ensuring facilities are accessible to all: With water and sanitation being the basics of life, health and prosperity, it is essential that water and sanitation facilities are available in schools and health centres, with separate facilities for male and females, and appropriate facilities for disabled people.

Ensuring facilities are available all year: It is critical that citizens have sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation all times of the year, at all levels. Currently many water points are either broken, or provide insufficient water during the dry season.

Change is possible

Increased access to water and sanitation is not only possible, it is essential for Sierra Leone to prosper. Encouragingly, progress is being made. There is a National Water and Sanitation Policy to direct how Sierra Leone can improve its water and sanitation management. Over the last 2 years, the implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation has meant 2,333 communities across Sierra Leone have become Open Defecation Free. The Government has also made recent commitments to increase funding for sanitation to 1 per cent by 2015, to have separate budget lines for water, sanitation and hygiene in the national budget, and to establish a Water Resources Commission and a separate Environmental Sanitation Directorate.

It is critical that Sierra Leone builds on this current momentum as it goes forward, so that Sierra Leone can thrive economically and socially. This requires political will and the investment of resources. The “I’m voting for safe water and sanitation” is calling on all political parties to show their commitment to the advancement of water and sanitation and Sierra Leone in the 2012 elections.

[i] A national advocacy network of 87 Sierra Leonean organisations

[ii] Part of Tran-boundary support for Sierra Leone and Liberia

[iii] Consisting of ACF, Concern Worldwide, GOAL, Oxfam and Save the Children

[iv] Made in April 2012 at the Sanitation and Water For All High Level Meeting, Washington.

[v] UNDP: Human Development Report, 2006: page 6

[vi] MICS 4, 2012

WASH Manifesto Campaign Launch Report

In partnership with WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Water, Sanitation and hygiene Network of Sierra Leone on 15th February 2012 officially launched its existence together with the WASH Manifesto Campaign by the Deputy Ministry of Energy and Water Resources at the British Council Auditorium.
Attended my members of the civil society, media, political parties, development partners and key ministries, agencies and departments, WASH-Net through its members nationwide further succeeded in attracting attendance and representation even from the local councils across Sierra Leone.
2012 is a critical moment for Sierra Leone’s development; shaping the country’s political direction through the forthcoming elections on November 17th. WASH-Net sees this as an opportunity to engage on a massive citizen’s engagement processe that makes voices and votes count in elections; in other words, using elections as tools to demand commitments that ushers much-needed change within the WASH sector.
Followed by the Launch was the finalization of a Country Election Strategy for 2012 with the Network’s District and Regional Focal Points  at the Family Kingdom on 16th February led by Oxfam and the Urban WASH Consortium. Please read report below:

Report on WSH-Net and Manifesto Campaign Launch

The World Walks for Water and Sanitation 2012 – Become part of a global movement!

Between 17 to 25 March 2012, thousands of people across the globe will walk together to demand action to end the sanitation and water crisis.

Millions of people have to walk great distances each day to collect water. And more than one in three human beings lack a clean and private toilet. Unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation means a huge human and economic cost such as premature death of small children, girls missing out on school and families spending their income to medical bills. In addition, women often trapped in unsafe and shameful situations.

Earlier this year, an amazing 350,000 people in more than 75 different countries from around the world joined the World Walks for Water campaign to demand that politicians in the North and South keep their promises and step up their efforts to protect the right to water and sanitation for all people.  We took their voices to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in May 2011 and this directly resulted in strong and ambitious sanitation targets being included in the Istanbul Programme of Action. And there were great national successes too! Following the campaign, Nepal’s sanitation budget was tripled and Germany took decisive action by agreeing to join the Sanitation and Water for All partnership.

This year, the timing of the World Walks for Water and Sanitation event is crucial – just one month after this mass global action, world leaders will gather in Washington DC at the Sanitation and Water for All second High-Level Meeting to discuss what they’re going to do to tackle the crisis claiming 4000 children’s lives every day. And it’s up to us to make sure they know that the world expects action. It is really important that your Development or Finance Minister attends this meeting – and you can take the opportunity of your ‘Walk’ to invite them to attend and demand that they commit to increasing provision to get water and sanitation to the world’s poorest communities.

How can you get involved?

Between 17th to 25th March 2012, thousands of people across the globe will walk together to demand action to end the sanitation and water crisis. Whether you’re a university, school, youth group, NGO, Civil Society Organisation or company – whoever you are, wherever you are, you can get involved!

Your walk can take place anywhere with any amount of people and be of any length – it’s easy!  Dress up as taps and toilets, dance, sing, invite celebrities and politicians – whatever you do, make sure you have as much fun as possible!

Invite politicians to walk with you or deliver a petition or invitation to the High-Level Meeting to their offices- it’s up to you but remember this is about political action and applying pressure on decision makers.

To find out more about how you can get started and organise your Walk for Water and Sanitation, take a look at our brand new campaign toolkit. It’s packed full of information, ideas and tips for how to make your walk a success and have the biggest political impact possible.

Again, a key moment in achieving this is the second Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting taking place in April 2012. This is where the Finance ministers from the Global North and South will meet to act upon the water and sanitation crisis. By acting together, in our thousands, all over the world, we can make governments take the actions needed to ensure clean water and sanitation for all.

We need you to get involved and make a stand! Visit: http://www.worldwalksforwater.org/eng to find out more and to sign up to take part.