The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in collaboration with Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), West Point Community Empowerment and Sanitation Services Inc., and community members participated in a community cleaning day in West Point as part of the national “Clean Cities” initiative on Saturday, May 6, according to a press release.
The event marked the first global CRS Community Day, where CRS staff around the world work in service and solidarity with people they serve on community projects. As part of the event, Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee officially handed over three public latrines, rehabilitated by CRS, to the West Point Township.
Mayor Koijee lauded CRS for renovating the three latrines, which had been in disrepair for several years. Mayor Koijee said, “These latrines will greatly help the struggling residents of West Point,” and that he wants “the residents of West Point take full responsibility of consistently maintaining the cleanliness of these latrines.”
It is anticipated that at least 1,000 community members will utilize each facility daily, improving their access to high quality, well-managed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities that will provide services for defecation, hand washing, and bathing. Latrines selected for major rehabilitation were Roadside Bathhouse, Battlefield Bathhouse, and Riverside Bathhouse.
CRS developed a participatory approach, working with local communities’ skilled workers as a means of creating jobs and financial empowerment for locals, increasing their sense of ownership of the project, and improving the quality of maintenance for long-term project sustainability through the involvement of the direct project beneficiaries.
In addition to the latrines’ rehabilitation, two water wells were restored, to provide water for the operation of the latrines; water storage and hand washing barriers, with stands attached, were also provided to support good hand hygiene practices.
CRS Liberia is focused on meeting local demand for WASH services, most specifically in finding sustainable solutions to sanitation problems in high-density, low-resource urban communities through the Cleaner Living through Enhanced Environmental Norms and Sanitation (CLEENS) project.
The CLEENS project will include a research component to be carried out in collaboration with Villanova University, to identify innovative opportunities to improve access to and quality of WASH services for community members living in West Point. Approximately 20,000 community members will directly benefit. The goal is to partly address the most urgent sanitation needs in West Point and other high-density low-resource urban communities so that community dwellers experience improved sanitation, health, and well-being.
CRS is an international humanitarian relief and development organization founded in 1943 by Catholic Bishops of the United States. Since then, CRS has reached more than 120 million people in more than 100 countries on five continents. CRS has been operating in Liberia since 1990, focusing specifically in the sectors of emergency response, health, justice and peace, and agriculture.