….Says LWI-Liberia Country Director – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – The provision of safe drinking water for most of the world’s population in the 21st Century has become a gripping issue for international organizations and some governments of the world, as people of developing countries like Liberia are still lacking behind in said direction.
For instance, under the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, majority of the world’s population through their respective governments must reach the bench mark by ensuring that people have access to safe drinking water, better sanitation and hygiene services.
Liberia with support from its international partners is exerting efforts to ensure that half of its 3.5 million people have direct access to safe drinking water by 2015 in line with the MDGs.
In this quest, Living Water International is amongst many International Charities operating in Liberia that is helping the Government of Liberia to accelerate access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene facilities for the people.
In early 2003, Living Water International got initial support from Chevron Liberia Limited to purchase a modern drilling machine, and has now begun constructing durable hand pumps in Liberia mainly in Margibi County, some 30 miles from Liberia’s capital Monrovia. Living Water International is operating in Margibi.
As Living Water International-Liberia Country Director Kanyata Mukelabai, puts it: “our intervention in Margibi is to construct 47 hand pumps this year alone, targeting the Provincial City of Kakata and Gibi District in that county.
“If we are to construct 47 hand pumps in 2014 alone, and LWI-Liberia intervention in Margibi runs for three years, imagine the numbers of hand pumps that will be constructed in the three-year period then 50% of that county with over two hundred thousand people would have access to clean water”, Mr. Mukelabai pointed out.
Mr. Mukelabai further said with the full drilling machine with compressor in the possession of LWI-Liberia, it has enabled the entity from last year up to 2014 to drill over 33 hand pumps in Liberia because the machine speeds up the work of entity.
According to Mr. Mukelabai, though Margibi is not the only county in Liberia facing safe drinking water problem, LWI’s intervention was from a baseline study conducted which revealed that 90% of the population not too far from Monrovia was fetching water from unprotected walls, creeks and rivers.
He said besides residents of Margibi fetching unsafe drinking water, they have to travel like twenty minutes to a point of getting safe water which is an unbearable situation for them
“Constructing the 47 hand pumps this year and more in 2015-2016 by Living Water International it will greatly reduce the difficulties and hardship faced by residents of the county when it comes to access to safe drinking water”, Mr. Mukelabai asserted.
He said Living Water International has plans to extend similar project to other counties namely Grand Bassa County.
The Living Water International-Liberia County Director said safe drinking water is crucial to Liberia’s development as such collaborative efforts are needed to address the issue.
Mr. Mukelabai said when Liberians have access to safe drinking water, the number of people who go to the various health centers and hospitals due to water-related illnesses will considerably reduce as well as the death rates in the country.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mukelabai said Living Water International-Liberia is also involved in the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach in Margibi County.
He said the CLTS approach is aimed at triggering the various communities in Margibi to put good hygiene and sanitation practices like doing away with open defecation, among others.
Living Water International has been proactive in ensuring that several communities in Margibi County reach Open Defecation Free (ODF) Status, and has been commanded by the Liberian government and other partners.
Meanwhile, Madam Mary Cooper and Mrs. Bendu Kerculah of Cooper and Gwekpozue Towns have thanked Living Water International-Liberia for the construction of one hand pump each in their various communities that had alleviated the problem of access to safe drinking water in their respective areas.
Madam Cooper said the hand pump constructed in Cooper Town is catering to over three hundred inhabitants including residents of about three satellite towns.
For her part, Mrs. Kerculah appealed on LWI to construct additional hand pump as the population of Gwekpozue is a little over one thousand inhabitants and one hand pump will not serve the people efficiently.
Thanks to Living Water International-Liberia for the support. Living Water International exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water, and to experience “living water”—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—which alone satisfies the deepest thirst.