The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has launched US$ 500,000 economic empowerment and sanitation projects in the country.
The project, which was launched recently in Johnsonville, Kpelle Town Market, will benefit several residents in Bong, Margibi and rural Montserrado Counties.
Catholic Relief Services Senior Project Officer, Theophilus Davies, said the initiatives will install hand washing facilities that will enable marketers at selected sites and buyers carry out their daily hand washing.
He said the facilities when installed will set the platform for the prevention and fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Mr. Davis also disclosed that as part of the project, Hygiene promoters will be deployed at the selected markets to carry hygiene promotion.
He also said the amount of US$200,000 of the US$500,000,will be set aside as economic empowerment for selected communities to provide some empowerment for them due to the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus.
Also speaking at the launch of the project, the Health Office Director of the United States Agency for International Development, Jessica Healey, said the initiate is intended to aid the government of Liberia to battle the COVID-19 virus.
Healey said the hand washing facilities at selected markets will help in the fight of the COVID-19 virus.
She said hands washing play a pivotal role in preventing the spread of disease which are transmitted through the hands.
Madam Healey assured Liberians that the US Government is committed in supporting initiatives of the Liberian Government that will bring about improvement in the life of its citizenry.
Speaking on behalf of the Liberia WASH Civil Society, the Executive Director of United Youth, Timothy Kpeh praised USAID and CRS for the funding for the project.
Mr. Kpeh used the occasion to remind the Government of Liberia to ensure that the issues of water, sanitation, and hygiene is addressed properly with the aim of improving the status of Liberians when comes to WASH.
The WASH CSO Advocate wants government increase budgetary allocation for WASH in the National Budget.
“Ninety percent of our WASH activities are supported by international partners, adding our international will not continue to do so always”, Mr. Kpeh added
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the National WASH Commission, Bobby Whitefield commended USAID and the Catholic Relief Services for the initiative, describing it as a way of preventing the spread diseases.
Ambassador Whitefield asserted that the CDC government is committed to the process of providing water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities to its citizenry.
He admonished beneficiaries to ensure that the facilities that will be installed at their various markets be sustained and maintained
The WASH Commission Chairman also supported calls by WASH CSOs for government to make the necessary funding to the commission to enable it to perform the task of ensuring that the provisions of water, sanitation, and hygiene services are improved.
The superintendent of the Kpelle Town Market, Mrs. Roseline Ngakpe, and the chairman of Kpelleh Town Community, Joel Gayflor thanked USAID and the Catholic Relief Services for providing the facilities to the market.
They assured USAID and CRS that the facilities will be maintained and sustained for the betterment of the market and community.