The Catholic Relief Service (CRS) has donated four water tanks to the Cocklebay and Kolleh Town communities in Freetown, providing a much-needed lifeline to residents who have long grappled with water scarcity. Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyer expressed heartfelt gratitude for the CRS’s generosity, acknowledging it as a crucial step towards fulfilling the City Council’s vision of addressing community concerns. The donation is part of the ongoing “Transforming Lives” initiative, a collaborative effort between the City Council and CRS aimed at upgrading informal settlements in these communities. The initiative has already seen extensive community engagement, geotechnical studies conducted, and the co-design of appropriate housing models with residents. The next phase focuses on developing localized Area Action Plans, with the potential to significantly improve access to essential services and living conditions.
Mayor Aki-Sawyer emphasized the establishment of water management committees in both communities, ensuring the tanks’ responsible use and long-term sustainability. The handover ceremony, held in Cocklebay, symbolized the shared commitment to improving lives. Deputy Mayor Kweku Lisk, Councillors Ojumiri, Yansaneh, and Kabba, alongside FCC officials, joined CRS Country Director Jeanne Ella Andriananmbinima and her team, along with community stakeholders from Kolleh Town. The water tanks offer immediate relief, particularly for women and girls who bear the brunt of water collection. While comprehensive solutions take time, the CRS’s donation is a crucial step towards addressing community concerns and improving access to essential services and living conditions..
This collaboration between the City Council and CRS demonstrates a genuine commitment to uplifting underserved communities. The water tanks, while a small step, represent a significant improvement in the lives of Cocklebay and Kolleh Town residents, offering a glimpse of a brighter future with access to basic necessities and improved living conditions.