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Sierra Leone celebrates improved access to water and sanitation - The Three Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project

New flush toilets at the primary school
Old traditionnal sanitation installation at Dorcas Primary school in Bo city
New flush toilets at the primary school
Children benefiting from better sanitation at their school in Bo city
Children benefiting from better sanitation at their school in Bo city


The project targets three major provincial cities: Bo, Kenema and Makeni. The water supply and sanitation schemes in these cities were built in the 1960s. The country’s civil war (1991-2002), coupled with population growth, led to severely dilapidated infrastructure. The three cities r host over 10% of the country’s population but access to safe drinking water averaged around 5% and there was a high incidence of water borne diseases. 



  • Addressing the poor state of the existing water and sanitation facilities which were affected by the war.
  • Rehabilitating and expanding water and sanitation systems in settlements in and around the three cities, including schools, health centres and other public places such as markets and motor parks.

Key facts:

  • Project total cost: US $65 million
  • Bank Contribution: US $64 million
  • Project Duration: 2010-2016
  • Beneficiaries: 460,000 inhabitant of Bo, Kenema and Makeni provincial cities

Les impacts

  • The residents of Bo, Kenema and Makeni who had limited access to piped water now boast of 24-hour safe water supply service and safe disposal of liquid waste;
  • Improved sanitation in schools, with about 90,000 pupils benefitting from a reduction in toilet access ratio from 237 pupils to 76 pupils per toilet;


“Fifty schools, four markets, one local court and one hospital benefit from the water project. Children are now comfortably using the toilet as opposed to before when they used stools or ‘rubber chambers’. The toilets built have separate sections for males and females, caretakers, toiletries, towels, and water tanks unlike before,” said Alimamy K. Kargbo, Station Manager at the Sierra Leone Water Company in Bo city.

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