The World Bank Board of Executive Directors have approved a new financing of US$10 million International Development Association (IDA) credit to increase access to piped water supply services in Monrovia and surrounding areas, and improve the operational efficiency of Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC).
The Liberia Urban Water Supply Project (LUWSP), which targets 63,000 direct beneficiaries, 44 percent of which are females, will facilitate critical repairs, rehabilitation of the existing distribution network and the extension to new areas with additional customers.
The project will facilitate new connections, more hours of water supply, fewer interruptions in water service and closer proximity to safe water supply sources.
“This project constitutes an important step towards implementing the government’s Agenda for Transformation and post-Ebola Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan, which emphasize the urgent need to improve water and sanitation service delivery in Liberia,” said Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Liberia. Said Dobraja, “a reliable and affordable source of clean water is an essential precondition for a healthy population and robust economic activity.”
Project beneficiaries of the LUWSP comprise residents of Central Monrovia, Somalia Drive, Duport Road and Roberts International Airport Highway.
The construction work will create job opportunities for Liberians and improve access to services and living conditions. Communities with large percentages of poor households that are unable to afford private household connections will benefit from the construction of standpipes or kiosks.
The LWSC will also develop a rate-payment scheme to allow these poorer households to finance connection fees over a longer period.
“The World Bank’s intervention will fund critical rehabilitation of the existing network, as well as invest in the extension of LWSC’s distribution capacity in order to supply more Liberians with safe water,” said Deo-Marcel Niyungeko, Task Team Leader. “This new project will also boost revenue generation for the LWSC.”
The LUWSP will reduce water losses and improve water flows to Central Monrovia, as well as address urgent rehabilitation needs along Somalia Drive and in Central Monrovia to restore water supply in the city center.
Key transmission lines along Duport Road, Somalia Drive and Roberts International Airport highway will be rehabilitated or extended to reduce bottlenecks and create backup capacity in these areas.
Furthermore, the installation of bulk meters across the network will allow the LWSC to set up district metered areas to track and address non-revenue water more effectively.
The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries.
Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.