FREETOWN MAYOR TEAMS UP WITH UNCDF TO BUILD 25 WATER KIOSKS

The Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, has officially inaugurated the construction of 25 water kiosks in Freetown as part of a collaborative project with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). This initiative, funded by the United Nations Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (UN PBF), targets communities in Aberdeen Crab Town, Dworzak, Lumley, Mayinkineh, and Rokupa.

Implemented through a community-led approach, the water for women project project aims to empower young women in these communities to drive change by supporting the establishment and management of twenty-five water kiosks equipped with solar-powered purification systems. These kiosks will offer accessible, clean water for the first time to many vulnerable communities in Freetown, with a focus on addressing water-related conflict sensitively. Young women will be trained to operate these kiosks as businesses, fostering empowerment and peace-building efforts.

Mohammad Al-Batayneh, UNCDF Country Lead, emphasized the collaborative efforts with partners like Freetown City Council (FCC), International Labour Organisation (ILO) ,Institute for Legal Research and Advocacy for Justice ILRAJ, and Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor FEDURP to identify and mitigate various water-related conflict drivers in targeted communities. He stressed the importance of community-led interventions to empower women in creating safe spaces for equitable water access and reducing water-related conflicts, including gender-based violence.

Mayor Aki-Sawyerr highlighted the fruitful partnership with UNCDF, starting from the Freetown Blue Peace Initiative in 2020. She outlined plans for the construction of 25 water kiosks in five communities during the initial phase, followed by an additional 40 kiosks and 15 public toilets across Freetown as part of the FCC & UNCDF Blue peace project.

Expressing gratitude to city councillors and community stakeholders for their support, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr acknowledged the voluntary contributions of privately owned lands for constructing the facilities. She also thanked partner organizations for their commitment to addressing conflict and improving water access in Freetown.

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