Nanbo and Kporzu Towns get WASH facilities
The Liberia National Red Cross (LNRC) with assistance from the Japanese government through the International Red Cross has provided 30 hand pumps, to supply safe drinking water to Nanbo and Kporzu Towns, located in Lower Margibi County, right off the RIA (Roberts International Airport) highway.
The assistance came through a LNRC project titled: ‘Enhancing Response and Recovery capacity and support to the Population affected by Floods in Margibi and Montserrado counties.’
The US$539,729 project targeted 31 communities in the two counties. In Margibi, 98 families received cement, zinc, and planks.
“We are so happy for Red Cross. What they have done for us only God will pay that. Our people have been dying of diarrhea and another sickness because of the bad water. We don’t even know how to say thank you to Red Cross,” said Nanbo Town Chief, James Gboto.
“Since I started knowing myself, this is where we have been drinking from. This is the only water we have access to. In this town, we drink, cook and wash clothes with it,” Gboto said, pointing to a dirt pond that resembles a well.
He continued, “This water used to serve the entire town and few other villages. It is not enough, but we’ve been managing because we have no other alternative.”
Nanbo has over 250 dwellers and is among several other towns in the area that has lacked access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Many residents of the town are farmers and fishermen, who produce charcoal as a source of livelihood.
Until the new hand pumps were built by the LNRC, residents used open ponds on the outskirt of the towns to fetch water, and used the bushes as latrines. “Water and toilet business has been giving us hard time in this place. We have been suffering for a very long time,” Town Chief James Gboto said.
It may be recalled that the two towns were flooded in 2016. The LNRC took interest in the situation and provided relief for the towns’ inhabitants.
LNRCS’ Communication Officer, Oniel Bestman, said: “We supported families affected by the flood in targeted communities who lost most or all of their household utensils, such as kitchen sets, mats, clothes, water storage materials, among others.
“We also set up a mechanism to make communities prepare for and take action in response to future alerts and threats of flooding.”
Meanwhile what is lacking now is health centers in the two communities.
“People have been dying from running stomach because of the water we have been drinking, and my stomach has also had problems; but now we know we have found a solution to it,” a resident said.
He added that there is no clinic or health center in the two communities, and this has been another burden for them.
“We don’t have a clinic here. We take people all the way to ELWA or Harbel. Sometimes when we are going, the person can die on the way,” he told the Daily Observer.