Reports reaching this medium speak of alleged rampant corruption eating into the fabric of the Water Resources Ministry headed by Momodu Maligi in alleged cahoots with his ‘hand-picked’ Director General of Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO).

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The ACC that is investigating this matter will soon call for evidence which this press is in possession of to help in bringing any culprit to book. Our investigations reveal that the implementation of the 2017 Freetown Dry Season Water Supply Back-up Plan has allegedly been hijacked by the Minister of Water Resources, Momodu Maligi.

According to reports, the project worth $1.2 million is supposed to be implemented by Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) because it has the expertise and is better placed to implement such a programme. However, it occurred that without informing GUMA authorities, Momodu Maligi with alleged intent to hijack the project and divert some of the funds into his personal use, went ahead to write a letter to the Chief Executive of National Procurement Authority (NPPA), Mr. Brima Bangura, requesting for “No Objection to Undertake A Restricted Bidding Process” to undertake and implement the 2017 Freetown Dry Season Water Supply Back-up Plan.

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However, the response written by the NPPA Chief Executive Mr. Brima Bangura clearly exposed the corrupt nature of Minister Momodu Maligi and his cronies in the Water Resources Ministry because according to our investigation the response has caused a split between staff at the ministry.

Some are apparently siding with the minister and his backyard style of administration while others are all for doing things the proper way and by the book.

Part of Mr. Brima Bangura’s response reads: “We write in response to your letter dated 9th November, 2016 requesting NPPA’s concurrence to the use of restricted bidding method for the ‘2017 Freetown Dry Season Water Supply Back-up Plan’ procurement activity.

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“Even though the (Water Resources) Ministry has stated this activity as being extremely urgent, it must be borne in mind that it has the genesis in the perennial water shortage that affects us at the national level annually.

“Therefore, the ministry should have foreseen the need to immediately initiate plans, activate processes and put in place structures to address this situation going forward. To wait until the dry season is nearly upon us and then start the process does not bode well in terms of planning, execution and delivery.

“In closing, we must state that we are aware of the challenges encountered in making payments to the last set of suppliers who were awarded contracts under the last emergency support during the dry season. The Ministry of Water Resources therefore needs to work very closely with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as there would otherwise be a serious erosion of bidders’ confidence to participate in and support the activities of the Ministry in the future.”

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As all of this is happening, it is reported that Momodu Maligi’s alleged ‘hand-picked’ Director General of Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) Samuel Bangura is to answer for ADB funded water projects in the Koinadugu, Bo, Bombali and Kenema districts worth several millions of US Dollars.

It is reported that these projects are littered with corrupt practices and blatant pilfering of donor funds, while the two Chinese companies that were awarded the contracts have been accused of inflating the cost of implementation so as to provide kickbacks to the Water Resources Minister and the SALWACO DG; although both men have reportedly denied. Several efforts to contact both men for their reactions to these allegations were futile up to press time. We shall however continue to try. Investigations continue.