By Stephen G. Fellajuah
At long last, the government of Liberia through the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC), has officially restored pipe borne water supply to Monrovia and its environs.
The decade-long civil war that ended in 2003 destroyed the country’s infrastructure including the country’s only largest reservoir, as well as pipelines for water distribution.
Statistics show that for more than a decade, the water quality in Liberia has been a steady issue. In 2016, only 25 percent of the population had access to clean water. Currently, of the 4.5 million people populating the country, more than one million are unable to access safe drinking water.
With the situation at hand, the George Weah-led administration came to power in 2018 and started discussions with partners about the need to restore water to Monrovia and its environs, says LWSC Managing Director Duannah Kamara.
Speaking Tuesday while switching on the water supply, LWSC Managing Director Duannah Kamara said the process marked a major achievement for the George Weah administration.
He said the restoration of pipe borne water to Monrovia marks a new beginning that the LWSC is once more supplying safe, pipe-borne drinking water to central Monrovia after repairing water treatment and pumping facilities damaged during the Liberian civil war.
LWSC Managing Director Duannah Kamara
Meanwhile, Kamara indicated that the restoration of the facilities was made possible through assistance from the government of Liberia and its partners such as the World Bank.
Until now, residents of Monrovia had relied on the supply of water in jerry cans usually sold by wheelbarrow boys known as push-push or spent many hours queuing and fighting to collect water from commercial water-trucks.
“Today water is here! All we are saying now is the President has done his part; the Legislature must understand that water has to be pumped to citizens of this country. They must prioritize water,” he said.
He said USAID and other partners were instrumental in making sure water is restored to the city.
“USAID just gave us a report, we were ranked 13th among countries with a lack of safe drinking water, they had to approve a budget for us. They signed an MOU with the African Development Bank to support the water treatment plant.
At the same time, the LWSC Boss is warning Liberians against water theft, stressing that if all the customers can pay their bills on time, the entity will be able to extend the supply of water to other areas.
“We spent US$3,000 daily to pump the water, we used chlorine and other chemical…we go in the field, people don’t even pay their bills. Some are taking our water into the smaller popes into their homes, how do you expect us to survive,” he said.
At the same time, the government has assured the rest of the country that discussions are ongoing to extend water supply to other parts of the country.
Meanwhile, several Liberians who received the public water supply in their homes expressed gratitude to the government and its partners such as the World Bank