By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – An international charity, Higher Ground International (HGI) has constructed a modern latrine facility in Tuckett Community, Arthington, Montserrado County.
The construction of the facility followed series of WASH Media Reports for improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for the people of Arthington, a historic Township in Montserrado County, established by the first Settlers in 1822 and the home of former Liberian President, Charles Taylor.
The construction and subsequent dedication of the facility is also part of efforts by HGI to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation to residents of the Township of Arthington.
The thirteen thousand United States Dollars facility is expected to serve about two hundred fifty inhabitants of the community and residents from nearby communities.
Higher Ground International has already constructed hand pumps in some parts of the Township, giving residents access to safe drinking water.
At an indoor program graced by traditional dancers and also a mask dancer or Gbetu as it is known locally, the City Mayor of Arthington City commended the international charity for the initiative.
Mr. Genius White described the Project implemented by Higher Ground International as a life changing opportunity for residents.
Mayor White disclosed that before the intervention of Higher Ground International, residents were in desperate need of water and sanitation facilities.
The Arthington City Mayor noted that all attempts by the administration to engage and appeal to several charities, both local and international proved futile.
He pointed out that Higher Ground International (HGI) is the only Organization to come to the aid of the people of Arthington in providing safe drinking water and improved latrine facilities.
He stressed that the people of Arthington remain grateful to Higher Ground International for the gesture and promised to maintain the facilities.
Mayor White has meanwhile noted that the township is lacking behind when it comes to social and economic development, “safe drinking water and sanitation is no exception”.
He used the occasion to encourage the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Higher Ground International to implement more WASH Projects in Arthington.
He also called on Government and other International Non Governmental Organizations to assist the area with WASH facilities for them.
For his part, the Head of Water and Sanitation at the Arthington City Corporation (ACC) J.S. Norkett described the WASH Situation in the Township as frustrating and deplorable.
Mr. Norkett said hand pump and toilet facilities in the area are insufficient to serve the growing population of Arthington.
As a result, Mr. Norkett noted some of the residents are still drinking from creeks and River streams.
According to him, drinking from such unhealthy sources poses serious threat to the health of the residents and imminent outbreak of water borne related diseases.
He also commended Higher Ground International for the project and encouraged the charity to give more assistance in the WASH sector Arthington.
Also speaking, eminent citizen Mrs. Elfreda Barclay thanked Higher Ground for restoring the dignity and pride of Arthington, especially women.
Mrs. Barclay noted that prior to the coming of the charity to the area, WASH situation in the area was very much poor.
She also thanked the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the charity and appealed that HGI continues its good work providing in WASH facilities for Arthington residents.
Mrs. Barclay at the same time called on residents to buttress the effort of Higher Ground by engaging in activities that will promote the work of the entity.
For her part, the Founder and CEO of Higher Ground International, Henrietta White Holder, said the facility was constructed to restore the dignity of residents of Tukett Community and other surrounding communities in Arthington.
Mrs. Holder also described the Latrine Project as a sense of pride for Arthington.
She said the construction of the modern latrine is part of the vision of Higher Ground International.
Mrs. Holder disclosed that since the intervention of Higher Ground International there are some level of changes taking place when it comes to the issue of water and sanitation.
She revealed that prior to the coming of Higher Ground International (HGI), there were no basic water and sanitation facilities in Arthington City.
“Residents have to work for miles to find a stagnant water to fetch either for drinking or cooking”, Mrs. White added.
She said there is a level of improvement now with the provision of four hand pumps by the charity in four different communities in Arthington.
She reminded residents to take ownership of the project which will serve as a medium to motivate the donors to continue providing assistance.
She noted that motivation from the citizens will encourage donors to exert more efforts in providing funding for the implementation of the projects in the Township.
Mrs. Holder disclosed that Higher Ground will shortly embark on a Commercial Project with the aim of creating job opportunities for Arthington residents.
She told the WASH Media Network that her entity has acquired one hundred and fifty acres of land to commence the Agriculture Project right after the rainy season.
Mrs. White than commended the WASH Media Network for the level of advocacy it continues to champion in the sector.
According to her, WASH Media Advocacy has brought dividends to most communities across Liberia, with the Higher Ground Project being one of the many examples.
The Chairman of the WASH Media Network of Liberia otherwise known as the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Network of Liberia (WASH R&E), Augustine N. Myers said it is good that WASH Media Advocacy was indeed making impact in society.
According to Mr. Myers, WASH R&E will continue to prioritize media focus on WASH aimed at ensuring access to the facilities, among others.
He commanded Higher Ground International for responding to the pleads of Arthington residents in providing improved WASH facilities, especially the modern latrine and challenged other local and international NGOs to do likewise.
Mr. Myers also attributed the success of WASH Media Advocacy to the commitment of Liberian Journalists who continue to prioritize professional WASH Coverage and Reportage.
He at the same time attributed the construction of the modern latrine by Higher Ground International to the ongoing Exclusive Media Focus on Sanitation sponsored by WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone, and WASH Hour Radio Program sponsored by Irish Aid through the Liberia WASH Consortium.
The latrine facility is a six room structure with separate male and female sections and a guest toilet on each side.
Higher Ground International is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works with women, girls and former child soldiers who were traumatized by years of civil conflicts in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Higher Ground International seeks to bring the “village” together to create healing by integrating and establishing real families for a contingent of young “throw-a ways” who are struggling to find their way in society.