• February 7, 2024

Water Crisis influences Teenage Pregnancy

Water Crisis influences Teenage Pregnancy
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By Sahid Bangura

Amidst the heightening of water shortage in some major communities in Freetown, residents of Kamanda Farm, Mount Aureol have grievously expressed their plights to FORUM over the constraints for water, which has uncontrollably resulted to the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in their community.

The only source of water at Kamanda Farm is a tiny borehole of water that drains from rocks; it was reported that other neighbouring sections of Kamanda Farm, the like of “Moyeaba and Blackhall Road,” also depend on the borehole for the sustenance of water, causing hundreds of teenagers and adults queuing at the Kamanda Farm borehole spot every night.

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Speaking with Mrs. Memunatu Tucker, one of the key stakeholders of Kamanda Farm, and a mother of a 15-year old teenager, narrated that the shortage of water has hindered the lives of so many young girls in their community, making specific reference to her 15-year old daughter who got pregnant and seized from attending school due to the expense of fending for water at midnight.

“This water crisis is drastically ending the potential brighter-future of our young girls in this community. My daughter who is in her early 16-year is not an exception to this current circumstance. As I’m speaking now, she is pregnant,” says Mrs. Margaret Sesay. She went forward to reveal that due to the fending for water, some children have lost focus in their academic work, as they are often seen at the borehole struggling for water during school hours.

According to Kadiatu Turay, a prominent member of Kamanda Farm, they began to face with constraints for water since the construction of the “Lumley Regent Road,” which led to the cutting of the water pipe that was supplying their community. She narrated: “We used to have fountain of water in our community prior to the construction of the Regent Road.” She complained that the Kamanda Farm borehole water is contaminated with visible germs, which lives them with no option but to buy sachet water, daily, for drinking.

Speaking with one of the youths at Blackhall Road Abu Bakarr Jawara grievously explained that although the scarcity of water in their community has provided job opportunity for many of them, by fetching water for people at the cost of Le2 per Five-gallon, he pleaded in tears for urgent solution from the government and nongovernmental bodies. He added: “From the borehole to the hilltop (Mountaureol), there are 52 steps to climb, and it takes about 40 minutes for me to get to my house with just a five-gallon of water.”

Mrs. Ramatu Kabba, a cookery seller at Moyeaba lamented that even though none of her children has not become a victim of teenage pregnancy, yet the situation is so serious that the pregnancy of teenagers is becoming alarming. She claimed that they have been in the situation (water shortage) for the past 10 to 15 years. Ramatu continued: “The Government actually provided a water-tank for the community, but it is too small to supply even 10% of the households in the community, and we are paying Le1 per rubber to get water from the tank. As I’m speaking to you now, the tank is empty, and it’s been empty for the past five days; the supply is not consistent.”

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