The General Services Agency (GSA) in collaboration with the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) and other functionaries of government have completed the rehabilitation and modernization of 20 public latrines facilities in various densely populated communities in and around Monrovia.
The facilities, which are located in the vulnerable and over-populated communities of West Point, New Kru Town, Logan Town and some parts of Central Monrovia, were rehabilitated under the Quick Impact Water and Sanitation Project (QIWSP) that is intended to bring sanity to public facilities, especially latrines (public toilets and bathrooms).
The three-month QIWSP was earlier launched in the Bassa Community area by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in February and concluded last month after successfully being completed.
US$325,000 was earmarked to construct/rehabilitate 22 toilets under the project, but the committee undertaking the exercise completed only 20 of the 22 toilets at a total cost of US$313,000, with a surplus of US$12,000. According to authorities, the remaining funds will be kept for the next phase of the project.
The project, which started with latrines in Monrovia and some of its immediate environs, is expected to spread across the country in the not-to-distant future as funds have already been available to continue the process.
The collaborating partners of the project include the GSA, Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), LWSC, Ministry of Finance. The LWSC was the implementing agency while the GSA was playing a supervisory role as well as rending technical support.
At a stakeholder meeting convened at GSA conference room in Monrovia last weekend, the coordinator, Hajah Kamara, in a presentation said the project has helped bring some level of relief to several thousands of people in the benefitting communities.
The meeting was meant for stakeholders to access the successes, challenges, lessons learnt in conclusion of the project as well as way forward
She said all of the facilities that were rehabilitated have been transformed into modern facility that can now go and ease themselves comfortably. “Most of the facilities we reconstructed and rehabilitated were in very bad condition. They were not conducive for people use and we did our best to modernized them,” Madam Kamara said.
GSA Director General, Mary T. Broh, who was the brain behind the project, said that she was pleased with the level of work that was done by the committee and pledged to continuously work with the team.She said Liberians take sanitation lightly but it is important that the environment is kept very clean to ensure healthy lives amongst Liberians, and the modernization of public latrines should be the initial point of this transformative process.
She termed members of the team for successfully completing the task and on time. She however disclosed that additional funds have been allocated in the 2014-2015 budget to expand the project to other communities and municipalities.
Broth commended members of the committee for their commitment and tireless efforts in ensuring the completion of the project, stressing that she enjoyed working with members of the committee.
Under the project, 12 water kiosks were also constructed, while 583 temporary jobs were created during the construction of the public toilets, Madam Broh disclosed
The newly rehabilitated facilities will be managed by sanitation companies that will be selected through a bidding process and will not be left in the hands of community leaders as it is usually being done. This move is meant to ensure sustainability, responsibility and adequate maintenance of the facilities.
Madam Broh warned that any winner of the bid will be required to keep the toilets clean at all times or risk forfeiting the contract.
The Ministry of Finance, through a representative, pledged the ministry’s support and ever willingness to assist the committee with funding for the future project. He indicated that he was impressed
He said the Finance Ministry was satisfied with the level of work done by the “Quick Impact Water and Sanitation Project” Committee.