The Guma Valley Water Dam is the main source of water supply for the city of Freetown. The Dam was built in the early 1960s and is situated within the Forest Reserve of the Western Area, approximately 13 kilometers from the central business district of Freetown.
The Dam was initially designed to provide water reliably for around 800,000 people. The current water crisis in Freetown is a critical situation. The current population of Freetown (approximately 2,000,000) is significantly higher than the number of people the Dam was built to serve.
To add fuel to the crisis, the rampant deforestation in the water catchment due to expansion of human settlements, and economic activities such as charcoal production, have resulted in the massive decline of the water retention capacity of the natural reservoir and have also contributed to a reduction in water quality over the years.
Inadequate water supply in Freetown has had so many impacts on the lives of its residents, economically and health-wise.
YARDO-SL is working with communities around the Guma Dam to raise awareness on deforestation, train youths on environmental monitoring systems and strengthening capacities for alternative livelihoods, and engaging in the reforestation of 10,000 trees in degraded areas within the water catchment to restore tree cover and promote water retention.
In this photo, the YARDOSL team takes a study tour of the Guma water treatment center with Engineer Jackson, Head of Production at the Guma Valley Water Company, explaining the practical evidence of the reduction of water level over the years. The Team proceeds to tour inside the Guma Reserve Forest to assert the level of deforestation within the catchment.
This activity is sponsored by the UNDP GEF Small Grant Program through the “Promotion of Innovative Land Use Mapping and Reforestation of the Encroached Areas of the Guma Water Catchment through Community-led Environmental Stewardship” project.
#National Water Resources Management Agency