By: WASH R&E “Media” network – As part of the Liberia WASH Construction-Irish Aid project in Grand Cape Mount County, implemented by the Community Development Services (CODES), a local NGO under the supervision of WaterAid in Liberia and Sierra Leone, several communities have grasped the importance of the issue and knowledge of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).
These communities are also benefiting from the construction of well and latrine facilities in 15 communities in Tewor and Gola Konneh Districts in the county.
Communities benefiting from the Liberia WASH Consortium-Irish Aid project in Tewor District, specifically Community Led Total Sanitation program include, Dumagee, Dassalamu, Kpendikor, Gardiyaine and Gonelor.
For Gola Konneh District, Kwankor, Gbella Garmai, Bessie, Perry Farm, Weaboma, Mboloma, Mecca, Todema, Kiadii Village and Jarwajah are communities generally part of the project.
Under the Community Led Total Sanitation aspect of the project, about ten communities have been triggered by the Community Development Services (CODES).
The project is also carrying on the construction of 7 new water points in seven communities in Gola Konneh and Tewor Districts as a means of providing safe drinking water to residents of these communities.
At present, there is an ongoing construction of latrine facilities in Mecca, Jarwajah, Kwankor and Gonelor in Gola Konneh and Tewor Districts for the schools in these Districts.
About nine thousand five hundred thirty eight persons from the 15 communities in the two Districts are benefiting from the project.
According to the beneficiaries, their respective towns were involved in Open Defecation for a protracted period not knowing the health risk.
As a result of the Community Led Total Sanitation triggering that was carried out by the Community Development Services as part of the project, two hundred ninety bathrooms were constructed, four hundred fifty one clothes line were put in place/established, while one hundred eighty-eight hand wash facilities were built in the 15 communities in the two Districts.
Community residents described the project as a life saving initiative brought to them and they will do all they can to support the project in their respective communities.
“For some of us, we did not know the harm involved in open defecating, especially in bushes until the Community Development Services (CODES) started this project in Dumagbee” couples Wea Kamara and Fofee Dorlay and other residents added.
For them, building their own latrine was not part of their agenda because defecating in the bushes was something that they were used to doing for a protracted period.
The residents said they were touched when education on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) was provided them by Hygiene Promoters from the Community Development Services (CODES), a local group implementing the project in Grand Cape Mount County, on behalf of WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone, a Member of the Liberia WASH Consortium.
The hygiene promoters revealed during a recent assessment by the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, if they continue to keep their clothes on the grass or continue to defecate in the buses, they will experience skin diseases and other health related problems respectively. Something they said is not good for them and their health, and commanded the partners for transforming their lives.
They told WASH Reporters that after the knowledge was passed down to them it became a pressing force on them to put into practice what they have learnt from the hygiene promoters.
The residents said since they got the idea and knowledge of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), they are experiencing and enjoying significant changes in their daily lives.
During the visit to the 15 Communities by WASH Reporters, residents commended Irish Aid through Liberia WASH Consortium for the project.
They maintained that working with the Community Development Services (CODES), with the supervision of WaterAid in Liberia and Sierra Leone, will be a major priority ensuring that the project becomes a success story in their communities.
As part of the project, the Community Development Services conducted a ten-day workshop to train Community Health Volunteers and Hand pump Technicians under Irish Aid WASH Project for the Liberia WASH Consortium in close collaboration with WaterAid, developed and introduced to participants a technique to safe guide hand pumps.
The new method was developed to reduce the constant break down of hand pumps through damage “U Seal in pump cylinder”. The new method was put into practice in Dassalimu, Gola Konneh District, which before witnessed the frequent break down of hand pumps in the town.
“The frequent break down brought about economic burden on community residents,” Haji Passawe, Town Chief said.
Town Chief Passawe noted that since the new method was accepted by the community, the break down in hand pump has reduced dramatically.
He said before the introduction of the new method, community residents used to spend up to thirty United States Dollars almost after every two weeks for the repair of hand pumps.
The Liberia WASH Construction project in Grand Cape Mount County, implemented by the Community Development Services (CODES), a local NGO under the supervision of WaterAid in Liberia and Sierra Leone, is valued at 1.5 million Euros and is an Irish Aid Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in five counties of the country.
The project is been implemented in two Districts in Grand Cape Mount County, Tewor and Gola Konneh.
It is aimed at providing equitable and sustainable access to improved water and sanitation for citizens in these two Districts.
It involves the construction of latrines, hand pumps, rehabilitation of hand pumps triggering of 10 communities and hygiene promotion.
The Community Development Services (CODES) is a local NGO implementing the project on behalf of WaterAid in Liberia and Sierra Leone, a Member of the Liberia WASH Consortium.