….WASH Consortium, WaterAid Commanded – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – The Community Development Services(CODES), a local non-governmental organization in Liberia has completed its part of a 1.5 Million Euro Irish Aid’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH) Project in two Districts in Grand Cape Mount County.
The Project aimed at providing equitable and sustainable access to improved WASH services, is currently benefiting about 10,000 residents of Gola Konneh and Tewor Districts.
The Project was successfully implemented by WaterAid, a Member of the Liberia WASH Consortium.
As part of the Project, 15 Communities benefited from newly constructed and rehabilitated hand pumps, latrine facilities and Community Led Total Sanitation(CLTS) Initiative.
The Project earmarked Dumagee, Dassalamu, Kpendikor, Gardiyaine and Gonelor as communities triggered through Community Led Total Sanitation Initiative.
While Kwankor, Gbella Garmai, Bessie, Perry Farm, Weaboma, Mboloma, Mecca, Todema, Kiadii Village and Jarwajah in Gola Konneh District benefited from the Liberia WASH Consortium/Irish Aid Water and Sanitation Project.
Seven new water points in 7 communities in Gola Konneh and Tewor Districts were constructed to enable citizens access safe drinking water in their respective communities.
Under the Project, latrine facilities were also constructed for schools in Mecca, Jarwajah, Kwankor and Gonelor communities in Gola Konneh and Tewor Districts.
As a result of the Community Led Total Sanitation(CLTS) Initiative, 290 toilets were constructed, 451 clotheslines were established, while 188 hand wash facilities built in the 15 communities. It followed triggering carried out by the Community Development Services (CODES), as part of the Project.
A Team of Journalists from the WASH Reporters and Editors Network of Liberia over the weekend visited the Project cites in the two Districts, where citizens and residents continue to extol CODES, WaterAid, Liberia WASH Consortium and Irish Aid for adding value to their living conditions.
Many said the Project has transformed their lives, and that they were grateful for the intervention in their respective Communities, pledging to maintain the facilities.
The beneficiaries thanked Irish Aid through the Liberia WASH Consortium for sponsoring such a program.
They described the Project as an eye opener for them, adding that it helped them to bring about attitude change when it comes to water, sanitation and hygiene activities.
According to them, they have realized the danger involved in using bushes for defecation and creek water for drinking.
For most beneficiaries, the Project has brought about a level of change in attitude in their respective communities as it relates to improved sanitation.
“The Project has taught us about dignity in having a community that is very clean and healthy,” they told WASH Journalists.
Providing an overview of the Project, the Executive Director of the Community Development Services(CODES), Tamba Bundor, said the Project has immensely contributed to the improvement of water, sanitation and hygiene services in the two Districts.
Mr. Bundor indicated that the intervention of Irish Aid in the two Districts brought pride, value and dignity to community residents.
The CODES Executive Director asserted that before the commencement of the Project, safe sanitation and water facilities were lacking in many of the communities.
Mr. Bundor maintained that in many communities, residents have realized the poor state in which their communities were.
He said they have embraced the Project by involving themselves in project activities in their communities.
The CODES Boss said, before the Irish Aid Project could reach these beneficiaries, many were practicing Open Defecation.
“Open Defecation has resulted to the contraction of diseases in these communities,” he added,
He said the Project Community Led Total Sanitation Initiative has shown many residents the dignity in improved sanitation.
“A case in point is a story of a blind man who constructed his own toilet facility in Kwenkor, Gola Konneh District in Grand Cape Mount County,”
Mr. Bundor however said that there was an urgent need for Government and Partners to assist some of these communities with an improved structure for schooling purpose.
He also disclosed that while toilet facilities constructed by his organization through the Irish Aid WASH Project were decent and beautiful, most of the buildings hosting these public schools are in a deplorable conditions.
The one year Irish Aid WASH Project targeted about 50 thousand persons in five countries, especially focusing on children under five and women with support from the Irish government.
Beneficiaries of the Project were drawn from Grand Cape mount, rural Montserrado, Grand Bassa, River Cess and Sinoe counties.
The Irish Aid WASH Project also motivated the beneficiaries to practice key sanitation and hygiene behaviours.
The Project ensured that functioning and sustainable water facilities are provided with adequate and safe drinking water.
The Project established 30 new and 23 rehabilitated water points in communities, conducted water quality testing and disinfection as well.
The Irish Aid WASH Project also focused on the setting-up and training of WASH Committees and training of community pump mechanics in water point maintenance, parts and basic repairs, among others.
The Liberia WASH Consortium Irish Aid funded Project was intended to ensure equitable and sustainable access to improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in underserved communities of Liberia.