The managing director of Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) has expressed “surprise” at Daily Observer newspaper’s editorial assertions that the entity lacks expertise and coordination.
Mr. Charles B. Allen, reacting yesterday on UNMIL ‘Coffee Break’ radio talk show in Monrovia, declared,
“I am totally surprised and taken aback that the Daily Observer which is considered Liberia’s premier and professional media institution could give added responsibility on LWSC Management for the flood and drainage business in Monrovia.”
Many Liberians and foreign residents in and outside Liberia, Director Allen added, consider the Daily Observer’s style of reporting as fair, balanced, objective and accurate, but he expressed disappointment in its Tuesday editorial, which he said, opted to give the LWSC added responsibility for Monrovia’s perennial drainage, flood and sanitation crisis.
He contended that the floods and drainage challenges of Monrovia do not fall in the purview of the LWSC.
“We are committed to the provision of quality and pipe-borne water to Liberians, foreign investments and the greater business community as stipulated in our mandate as water managers,” Director Allen explained.
According to him, the LWSC’s engineers are consolidating efforts with the aim to ensure that the mandate delegated to the water agency are carried out for the good of the customers and support partners.
The Daily Observer’s editorial on Tuesday reminded the LWSC’s director and principal deputies that they cannot divorce themselves from the water and sewer challenges of Monrovia and its environs.
Under the caption, “Has Water and Sewer No Vision or Expertise?” the paper called on Director Allen and his team to meet and tell themselves and the Liberian people that during the next rainy season, Monrovians are not going to experience the same flooding they have had to endure this year and so many years before.
The editorial further pointed out that this also means managing the nation’s water, including the water from rivers, creeks, swamps, drainages and gutters. In today’s Liberia, drainage and sewer problems are one in the same; they cannot be divorced. While this might have infrastructural implications, the LWSC has the mandate spelt out in its nomenclature – Water and Sewer – to play a lead role alongside the Ministry of Public Works to address these issues across the country.
A senior staff of the newspaper also pointed out yesterday that in spite of the enormous assistance donor and support partners are providing to the LWSC, the sewer and drainage system remains a serious challenge.
Another added that Mr. Allen as MD of LWSC is responsible for the management of water and sewer issues wherever they exist throughout the nation and that is why his entity is not called Monrovia Water [and Sewer] Corporation. “I guess he did not consider the size of the shoes he was stepping into but only thought about the title and emoluments like many of his type who only want the authority and paygrade and don’t want to hear about the level of responsibility and service to the people and country.”