The Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) was established in January 2013 to fulfil policy and sector leadership functions. The old Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MEWR) Water Supply Division has been replaced by a new technical Water Directorate. The Directorate will provide effective technical and back-up support to local councils and the broader WASH sector. It is important to note that while the MWR and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation are the WASH sector leaders, they do not directly supervise regulatory agencies and the service delivery agencies. Instead they set the policy framework within which all sector actors must operate.
In 2012 the importance for systematic water point mapping was formally noted and an Addendum was added to the 2012/13 Manpower Budget for the establishment of a WASH Information Management Unit. This Unit forms part of the MWR and will carry out urgent and critical functions in water point mapping and WASH data.
As part of its mandate, the MWR exercises policy oversight on the two main utility companies in the water sector, that is the Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC), which is responsible for providing access to portable water supply in Freetown and its environs, and the Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO), which is responsible for water supply services in the regional areas.
The Electricity and Water Regulator Commission (EWRC) and the National Water Resources Management Agency (NWRMA) are also two regulatory agencies to be established under the purview of the MWR. The EWRC would enable Sierra Leone to benefit from safe, affordable and permanent water supply services by way of instituting new tariffs, whilst the NWRMA would have the mandate to ensure an effective management of Sierra Leone water Resources.