4,000 Rural Residents Risk Infection from Multiple Diseases in Lofa

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    At least 4,750 residents of the township of Toborgizzizu, eight miles off Voinjama City in Lofa County, run the risk of being infected with multiple diseases due to acute water shortages.

    The citizens and residents explained that of this number 1,084 are children.

    “The elementary school built in the town to respond to the educational needs of the rural inhabitants has an enrollment of 351 students,” the elders said.

    Of this number 168 are girls, thus, topping the boys’ enrollment at the Toborgizzizu Public School.

    The town of Toborgizzizu is situated between steep hills and small mountains. The geographical terrain of the town is maybe one of the causes for the acute water shortage for its residents.

    The town has a little over 500 houses with dozens of rice kitchens and traditional shrines.

    The residents informed the Daily Observer that the only hand pump built by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) almost 10 years ago has lived out its usefulness.

    The ICRC’s constructed hand pump is situated a 25-minute walk away from the town, thus rendering elderly women and younger children unable to fetch clean water from it.

    Those who cater to the town’s water needs of their families—mainly women— said, years in and years out during the Dry Season they continue to undergo unending hardship due to acute water shortages.

    The staff of Toborgizzizu town’s clinic also told the Observer that many patients have recently been diagnosed with malaria, dysentery, and multiple of water-borne diseases.

    The clinic’s workers disclosed that the health facility catered to 12 additional towns close to Toborgizzizu in the Voinjama District.

    “Our people have created a number of unreliable water sources, which are not safe for drinking,” Chairlady Willie Siehzizea explained.

    A 50-year-old called on the relevant agencies of the Liberian Government and its support partners to assist the town with additional hand pumps.

    Toborgizzizu town Chief Saah Toma pointed out that women and children were forced to endure hardship each year during the Dry Season as they fetch clean drinking water for their families.

    Shedding light on the town’s sanitation situation, Chief Toma said all latrines and bath rooms constructed by NGOs and Liberian Government agencies were destroyed by the last outbreak of violence in the country in 2003.

    The chief explained that Toborgizzizu was one of the biggest producers of sugar cane, peanuts, rice, cassava, coffee and cocoa prior to and during the civil conflict.

    When asked by our reporter about the feeder road leading to the town, Chief Toma indicated that the road’s development has been the biggest challenge over the years.

    However, he revealed that through the intervention of the Liberian Government and support development partners, construction work on the road corridor reached town a few months ago.



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