For over fifty years, inhabitants of Malangai, a small, remote farming community of over 1000 residents in Zota District, Bong County just a stone’s throw from the Guinean border, have fetched unsafe water from a muddy pond for drinking and other domestic uses.
Water related diseases leading to deaths seem to be commonplace among the residents, as they narrated to the Daily Observer.
During a visit to Malangai last weekend, our reporter went to the pond to assess the situation and was informed that it was the only source of drinking water for the community. The water is brownish in color. Residents say they have not benefitted from the millions of dollars being pumped into water projects across the country by local and international NGOs.
Our correspondent was told that the community has failed in their efforts to have access to safe drinking.
There is constant fear among residents of outbreaks of cholera, diarrhea and other water borne diseases in Malangai.
In an interview with our correspondent, Town Chief Victor Juah said residents have been drinking from the pond since the town was built many years ago.
“This is the only source of drinking water we have here since this town was established by our forefathers many years ago,” Mr. Juah said.
He said that in April two persons died in the town due to the unsafe drinking water.
Juah in a passionate appeal called on local and international organizations operating in the country in the business of water and sanitation to extend their humanitarian assistance to the people of Malangai.
Investigations conducted by this reporter confirmed that since the village was established more than fifty years ago, it has not benefited from a single hand pump from any NGO or humanitarian individual in Bong County or Liberia.
At a health post in Shankpalai about three hours’ walking distance, midwife Gertrude Jenteh told our reporter that she has witnessed an outbreak of water related diseases like typhoid and cholera that was due to the pond water used by the community.