Dedicated Water Project Boosts Supply to Greater Monrovia

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Gabriel S. Flaboe, Sr., Project Manager, urban water supply and sanitation of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation on Water Achievement and Challenges in Monrovia.

– Project Manager Discloses Completion of 3 Rural Projects

A US$40.49 million Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) three-phase water project was recently dedicated by the outgoing Liberian Government in White Plains, Montserrado County.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) experts say the dedication of the LWSC White Plains water facility that will supply 16,000,000 gallons per day is a significant boost to the water challenges of Monrovia and its environs.

Giving an overview of the African Development Bank (AfDB) funded water project on Friday, the Project Manager of the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project (UWSSP), Gabriel Flaboe, said the project experienced delays due to difficulties in fulfilling conditions precedent to commencement.

He also added that other challenges encountered were the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease and the termination of the first water treatment plant contract for non-performance.

Flaboe noted that the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning requested for an extension of the project twice to make up for the lost time, which the AfDB granted.

Manager Flaboe explained that the water project has three components, which he named as Infrastructure, Institutional Support and Project Management.

He further intimated that under the institutional support component, goods and services (Technical Assistance) were procured to build the capacity of the project management team and the LWSC.

Flaboe disclosed that eight persons were awarded scholarships to pursue graduate studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, adding that all eight persons have graduated and returned to the employ of the LWSC in Liberia.

The manager also revealed that the scholarship recipients were trained in Procurement Management, Water Resources Engineering, Water Supply Engineering and Electromechnical Engineering as well as Structural Engineering, Financial Management and Public Health.

He added that this component of the water project consisted of the construction of the water supply system in Buchanan and rehabilitation of the ones in Kakata and Zwedru cities in Grand Bassa, Margibi and Grand Gedeh counties, respectively.

Flaboe disclosed that the works included the construction and completion of a total of 25 modern public toilets and sanitation facilities in the three rural cities, adding that the ones in Buchanan and Kakata were dedicated in August 2016, while the others in Zwedru were dedicated in April 2017.

“The sanitation facilities are now fully operational thus creating a sanitary environment that is crucially expected to benefit about 20,000 inhabitants at those critically needed sanitation facilities,” he asserted.

Shedding light on the 36-inch treated water pipeline under the infrastructure component, Flaboe stated that prior to the starting of rehabilitation works, the water treatment plant was treating and transmitting less than five million gallons per day.

Now completed, Flaboe disclosed that the water system will treat, transmit and distribute about 16 million gallons of water per day, the prewar capacity of the water treatment plant.

Manager Flaboe also reminded Liberians and partners that when the water treatment plant was operating at its prewar capacity of 16 million gallons, the population of Monrovia was between 500,000 to 700,000 persons.

Today, he said that the population of Monrovia is about 1.3 million inhabitants, which clearly speaks to the urgent need for expanding the production capacity of the water treatment plant.

“The LWSC recently requested and the AfDB consented to use the project proceeds to construct a booster station and reservoir in the Sinkor area in an effort to improve water supply to central Monrovia,” Flaboe indicated.

He also assured Liberians and support partners that when that water project is completed, the New Georgia and Soul Clinic, Paynesville ground water supply schemes would augment the supply from White Plains.

But, Flaboe pointed out that because such facilities are limited in their coverage, the ultimate solution to meeting all greater Monrovia water supply needs is to expand the White Plains works in Montserrado County.

In addition to increasing the capacity of the White Plains plant, he stressed that there is an urgent need to replace the two existing transmission mains because each of two pipelines is more than 50 years old.

As a result of the aged pipelines, Flaboe noted that the LWSC has experienced several breaks during the last five years due to increased pressure to supply more people in Monrovia.

He also stressed that to minimize the possibility of breaks, the pressure regime here at the water treatment plant would need to be adjusted downwards, meaning lower available pressure for the distribution system.

Manager Flaboe also provided a comprehensive breakdown of the total cost of the White Plains water treatment plant, which is placed at US$10,259,435.80.

The UWSSP official further intimated that the cost of the Buchanan, Kakata and Zwedru sanitation projects is placed at US$6,227,639.36 up to the completion and dedication points in their respective counties of Grand Bassa, Margibi and Grand Gedeh.

“We wish to extend our thanks and appreciation to the President Delivery Unit headed by Dr. Clarence Moniba, AfDB executives, International consultant of IGPN|3BMD of Germany and Sierra Leone Project Management Team, LWSC senior staff and UWSSP Steering Committee as well as other major partners that made significant contributions to the overall success of the water project,” Flaboe concluded.

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