HFHI Begins 9-Day Slum Upgrading Project for Peace Island

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Mr. Akudaango, director ISI and Mr. Itimu, a WASH specialist.

Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) will be hosting a series of activities to mark the official launch of the first Slum Upgrading Project in Peace Island community located in the Congo Township, outside Monrovia.

Matthew Ndote, coordinator of the Liberia Country Program (LCP) of HFHI, made the disclosure during a town-hall meeting on November 7 in the Peace Island community.

According to Mr. Ndote, the project, entitled “Slum Upgrading Project in Monrovia,” is a 2-year initiative funded by OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and is in response to priority needs of over 30,000 people living on Peace Island with inadequate access to safe drinking water and lack of solid waste collection services. Their needs were identified during a recent community profiling coordinated by Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and local partners – YMCA of Liberia and the Federation of Liberian Urban Poor Savers (FOLUPS) under the auspices of Liberia Country Program.

During a series of activities, he said HFHI-WASH specialists will hold consultative meetings with key stakeholders, including National Housing Authority (NHA) managing director, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Urban Affairs, and the Chairman of the WASH Commission.

Others will include the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation managing director, local authorities, chief executive officers (CEOs) of Private companies involved in water production and distribution, Community Based Enterprises (CBEs) involved in the solid waste collection, Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), residents of the Township of West Point and Peace Island.

Mr. Ndote told residents that the objective is to collect views and information useful for planning of WASH interventions. The team will familiarize itself with existing WASH protocols, structures and guidelines, Community-Led Total Sanitation approach, and lessons learned from some of the sustainable strategies applied in recent past WASH Projects, to improve living conditions of people living in informal human settlements.

The climax of the mission and its official launch will be on Thursday, November 15, whereby the strategy for implementation will be presented to key stakeholders, including a detailed plan of slum upgrading activities, partnership structures, and community engagement and sustainability strategy, with HFHI facilitating shared responsibilities between government agencies, private sectors, and communities.

The funding from OFID, under this project, provides an opportunity to lay the foundation for a platform where different stakeholders will engage and contribute to a sustainable urban development.

Mr. Ndote introduced John Apambi Akudango, director of International Shelter Initiative, and Lindley Itimu, WASH specialist, who are in the country to assist with the project.

Mensah Suku, Commissioner of Congo Town, who responded after the presentation, expressed appreciation to Mr. Ndote and the organization that he represents for thinking about the 38 communities in the four districts to upgrade where they call home.

“Our communities suffer for water in the dry season, though we have 89 boreholes; so we will work with you and may God bless you,” Commissioner Suku said.

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