It was a scene of joy in Balata Community, Brewerville City, when over 1,500 residents expressed relief after a borehole water project was recently inaugurated to serve the community.
Boreholes provide the basis for the realization of economical and sustainable access to safe drinking water. It is drilled to function for a lifespan of about 20 to 50 years.
The Batala Water Project is an initiative of Liberian diplomat and humanitarian Sara Beysolow Nyanti, a UNICEF’s resident representative-designate to Iraq. Mrs. Beysolow had recently signed an agreement with residents of the community, to provide them safe drinking borehole water for the first time in history.
Residents say they have suffered for too long drinking unsafe water and that they have three hand pumps and a well but that these became arid (dried up, parched) during the dry season.
Emmanuel Johnson, an agent of Social Movement for Change (SM4C), an organization founded by Mrs. Nyanti, expressed the residents’ gratitude to Mrs. Nyanti for relieving them “from the water bondage,” adding that access to the hand pump will greatly impact the lives of community residents and stop them from getting drinking water from open wells.
“We say a big thank you to Mrs. Nyanti for relieving us from the water nightmare, in which our women and children used to get water from open wells for household use,” Johnson said.
Varflay N. Sirleaf, Balata’s town chief, made similar remarks commending Mrs. Nyanti for giving residents the borehole water at a time when the community has seen an increase in its population, with access to safe drinking water being one of its major challenges.
Sirleaf recalled how all the hand pumps and wells in the entire township go dry mostly in the months of February and March, leaving residents without water, which is the primary source of life.
Morris Musa, another influential resident, promised that the new borehole water well will save the community from its longstanding water crisis.
In response, Mrs. Nyanti said working to provide clean and safe drinking water in Brewerville has been her dream, because residents there have informed her that they were in desperate need of water. “So I saw the need and signed an agreement with them to provide save drinking water,” Nyanti said.
“To complete the project, community members provided blocks and cement to protect the well, manpower to dig the ground and food for the workers, while I provided the technical expertise for the borehole,” Nyanti said.
In 2015, Mrs. Nyanti founded the Social Movement for Change (SM4C), an initiative designed to mobilize and empower young people to get involved in community development. The organization educates households to fend for themselves, instead of depending on foreign aid.
Since its inception, it has trained 25 “change agents’’ to spread the message to 30,000 households in the St. Paul River District.
In addition, the organization collaborated with communities to build one latrine and two wells, with hand pumps in Kamara Town, along with several education, micro-finance and other training activities for women, such as rape prevention, benefiting over 10 cities and townships. SM4C has also purchased borehole drillers that can drill down to 300 feet.