Youth cooperative, the Water Sie Boys, runs a public shower for slum-dwellers in Kroo bay slum, in the centre of the capital Freetown, home to 13,000 people. Water Sie Boys received US$9,000 to set up the community shower from the government Youth Employment Secretariat (YES) . Set up in 2008, YES, supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), has established a fund of US$700,000 to distribute grants and micro-finance loans to youth groups.
“If you want a shower, you pay 3 US cents (100 Leones) and you can take five minutes, or we will give you a bucket of water. People need soap so we started to make it [soap] too”, says Sidiki Mansark who set up Water Sie Boys.
“We are 20 working here – but I want to increase the number. We get by – every now and then we have to put in $1.50 to sustain our business. We want to expand it to other zones in the slum. We could employ 40 people because we always have enough customers.