The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) and Chicquan Construction Company (CICO) have signed a US$10.6 million Agreement for the rehabilitation of the White Plains water treatment plant, outside Monrovia.
According to the Agreement, preparations and mobilization of equipment will take four weeks for the contractor to begin actual work at the water treatment.
The US$10.6 million funding for the rehabilitation works was provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa Water Facility (AWF).
Besides, the Agreement covers the complete rehabilitation of the 21km long pipeline from the water treatment plant at White Plains through Red-light Market in Paynesville.
At the signing ceremony on Friday, LWSC Managing Director, Charles B. Allen, explained that the funds are on the basis of grants and not loans.
Director Allen also disclosed that the water treatment rehabilitation contractor was selected following an international competitive bidding process. The process, he said, was held among 12 bidding companies that were earlier shortlisted.
Of that number, he said four bidders were qualified for the third phase of the interviews for the selection of the winner by a committee of highly qualifies Liberians.
He also pointed out that after the third phase of the screening process, CICO was qualified, accepted and declared winner of the contract.
When fully rehabilitated, the water agency will be able to pump and supply 16 million gallons of water to Monrovia and its environs every day.
In a brief statement, CICO Deputy Country Manager, Chan Zetao, assured LWSC and Liberians that his company will live up to the terms and conditions of the contract.
He then expressed the hope for future collaboration between CICO and LWSC.
In remarks, LWSC Deputy managing director for Technical Services, Frankie Cassell, disclosed that the selection for the water treatment plant rehabilitation contract was carried out on the basis of the AfDB’s competitive bidding guidelines.
He also assured the government and partners that CICO will work strictly in conformity with the specifications, drawings and designs as documented in the work plan.
Mr. Cassell assured Liberians and partners that the rehabilitation works will be double-monitored and supervised by the hired international engineering firm and personnel from the water agency during the implementation period.
He also indicated that the effective, management of the current funds provided by the AfDB and AWF are critical to the securing of additional soft loans from partners and other donor institutions in the future.
“You are not going to get additional funding if the current funds provided are mismanaged,” Director Cassell warned.
For his part, the project manager for the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project (UWSSP), Gabriel S. Flaboe Sr., said as a result of the transition of different management heads and delays, the water treatment plant rehabilitation did experience some hurdles.
The signing of the water treatment plant rehabilitation contract, he said, marks one of the significant points in the history of the LWSC.
The UWSSP official pointed out that the current agreement is only intended to rehabilitate the water treatment plant and did not incorporate the expansion phase owing to the present staggering population of Monrovia.
Mr. Flaboe however reminded Liberians and partners that the current water treatment plant was designed to meet the water needs of approximately 750,000 residents and customers prior to the civil conflict, but the population of Monrovia has increased approximately to 1.3 million inhabitants.
Manager Flaboe then stressed the need for a robust expansion program in anticipation of pipe-borne water demands in the future by the growing population of Monrovia and environs.