The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Water Coordinator has disclosed that over 800,000,000 people worldwide live without potable water.
Chris Holmes, the Coordinator of USAID based in Washington D.C., USA, made the statement last week in the port city of Robertsport in Grand Cape Mount County.
The USAID’s top water official made the disclosure of the staggering figure on the second leg of an assessment tour of water infrastructure facilities in the country.
The American water expert also detailed that 2.5 billion people globally do not have access to adequate sanitation.
“Being based in Washington, I always valued the chance to come out and see water works in countries around the world,” Mr. Holmes explained.
“During my visits to Monrovia, Gbarnga and Robertsport last week, I came to appreciate the formidable challenges Liberia faces in expanding access to clean drinking water for its citizens. I also became aware of the tremendous opportunities before you as you rebuild and strengthen the country’s water and sanitation infrastructure,” Mr. Holmes noted.
He also intimated that USAID has a proud history of supporting the government and people of Liberia.
Coordinator Holmes explained that in 2013 alone, some 47,124 people throughout Liberia gained access to an improved water supply with support from USAID.
“Ensuring long-term sustainability of water and sanitation infrastructure is USAID’s global strategy,” Coordinator Holmes assured.
“I therefore want to recognize the important contribution of the Local Steering Committee (LSC) in working with the Water and Sewer Corporation to help operate the system,” Coordinator Holmes praised.
The USAID Global Water Coordinator pointed out that the ground-breaking ceremony was indeed a testament to the LSC’s hard work and continued dedication.
Coordinator Holmes also reminded the Robertsport’s LSC’s staff that they have an opportunity to establish a model for other Liberian towns. He said they have the potential to help develop a water system that would be sustainable and accountable to its customers.
In closing, Coordinator Holmes expressed his pleasure the U.S. Government has been able to support the Robertsport’s water project and future renovations of municipal water systems in Voinjama and Sanniquellie in Lofa and Bong Counties respectively.
It has been over two decades since clean drinking water flowed through pipes in the seaside city of Robersport, Grand Cape Mount County.
Shortly after the Liberian civil conflict began in 1989, piped water in Robertsport and other county capitals infrastructure fell into disrepair, leaving residents to rely on shallow wells subject to contamination due to proximity to latrines (Toilets).
As a result, residents of this former tourist hotspot have endured water-borne diseases and bleak economic prospects as a result of little or no access to safe drinking water.
In a brief statement, the Chief of Party for the Liberia Municipal Water Project, Mr. Alione Fall, assured Liberians that the LMWP would ensure that projects in Voinjama and Sanniquellie would be complemented as stipulated in the time frame.