LIBERIA: SOS for safe drinking water in Upper Caldwell

By: WASH R&E “Media” Network  – Residents of the Township of Upper Caldwell in Montserrado County are appealing to the government and relevant authorities in the country to provide their community safe drinking water.

One of the open wells used by Upper Caldwell residents

One of the open wells used by Upper Caldwell residents

The Upper Caldwell residents are currently drinking from open wells, and complained they are always suffering from water related illnesses.

The residents speaking to a WASH Reporter over the weekend in the Township, alarmed that the issue of safe drinking water has been a major problem for them.

They also described the situation as embarrassing to the people of the Township and visitors.

Madam Miatta Flomo a resident of the area added that the situation of the lack of safe drinking water continues to pose health threats mostly to women and children in the Township.

She appealed for intervention from government and WASH partners to address the alarming situation.

Also speaking, the Officer-In-Charge of the Upper Caldwell Community Clinic, James Dennis said that due to the water problem in the community, the health center is constantly faced with diarrhea cases.

He further added that the clinic receives 10 to 15 diarrhea patients daily, a situation he described as a serious matter that needs urgent intervention.

Mr. Dennis warned that if nothing is quickly done to address the problem of safe drinking water in the community, the situation might blow out of proportion, fearing imminent outbreak of water related diseases.

Oldman Jimmy Sango, who is also a resident in the Upper Caldwell Community, said they usually buy mineral water for especially their children to drink to avoid sicknesses, which he termed as costly to purchase mineral water nearly every day.

He disclosed that they have planned to formally meet as a community concerning the lack of safe water and the issue of residents dumping dirt everywhere in the community, stressing that the pending meeting would send a clear signal to national government and its relevant authorities to solve the issue of safe drinking water in the community.

James Alan also a resident in the community added that the Township is being down played by relevant State actors, terming it as bad on the part of government and those involved.

He said when the political season is around, the community is always visited by politicians to seek votes but forget about the community as soon the political season is over.

He commanded the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia for visiting the area to help amplify their voices to have access to safe drinking water and other WASH facilities.

The Upper Caldwell Community in Montserrado County is on the outskirts of Monrovia and has a population of over ten thousand inhabitants. Hand pumps once constructed by development partners are broken down due to overstay, huge demands and lack of maintenance.