Cities Alliance Liberia Program has officially handed over 64 community water projects in New Kru Town and other surroundings under its Community upgrading fund, a program supported by Comic Relief to the People and Government of Liberia.
The water Kiosks were constructed through a private-public partnership involving the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, YMCA of Liberia, FOLUPS and Slum Dwellers International.
The projects comprise 64 multipurpose water kiosks in 34 communities in Monrovia, Paynesville, and surrounding communities. The water kiosks improve access to clean water, enhance the quality of life, and promote hygiene and sanitation.
The ceremony was held on November 18, 2020, in the borough of New Kru Town.
The projects, which comprise 64 multipurpose water kiosks in 34 communities in Monrovia and its environs, is expected to benefit about 190,000 people and 40,000 households in Paynesville, and surrounding communities.
According to Cities Alliance, there are 42 kiosks in 22 communities in Monrovia and 22 kiosks in 12 communities in Paynesville. The water kiosks are designed to host a space for small scale trade that provides the community with basic commodities. It includes a solar lighting system and storage tank.
Speaking during the handover ceremony in the borough of New Kru Town, Cities Alliance Country Director, Andrew Senjovu, thanked the community for the level of support to the project.
Mr. Senjovu stressed the importance of having a sustainable community, adding that to have sustainable community accessibility to water is one of the key fundamental issues of his organization.
According to him, the 64 water kiosks were constructed by Cities Alliance with support from other stakeholders who played a significant role in making this project a success. “This project cannot be constructed by Cities Alliance without the support of the community.”
Paulita C.C Wie, Deputy Minister of Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that the national government is making every effort in ensuring that infrastructure development, including road connectivity and dimprove access to basic social services, are in urban areas.
Minister Wea recalled that Liberia emerging from a 14-year of civil war, as well as the Ebola crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the burden of challenges, Liberia today is filled with the ambition to achieve a little middle income by 2030, which according to her the Cities Alliance program is designed to provide long term support to Liberia to realize its development objectives that will benefit the ordinary people through access to economic and social services. “We want to thank our development partners and community for the support.”
Meanwhile, Bobby Whitfield, Executive Director of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Commission, pledged the Commission’s commitment to ensure that the right thing is done.
Mr. Whitfield indicated that the WASH Commission is guided by laws and, as such, it is important to ensure that people who work in the sector provide quality and affordable water services to the people of Liberia.
He added that there are water policies within the sector and so the role of the commission is to implement these laws on the books. “Our role at the level of the commission is to ensure all stakeholders and partners go by these laws,” Whitfield said.
Maria Cheah, operator of the Mamboe Town East water kiosks, says that before the water kiosks were constructed, she walked many hours to fetch water from nearby communities. Sometimes she returned with no water, especially during the dry season.
“If we work together we can achieve a lot and assist in the building of our country,” said YMCA Liberia CEO, Timotheus Kamaboakai.
“There was no water in the community,” Maria Cheah continued. “As you can see, now I am selling my water and community people can come to fetch water. I say thank you to Cities Alliance because we suffer so much for water. Again, while selling water, I also have my goods in the kiosks that community people can come to purchase without walking a long distance to get some basics,” she added.