The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) says its ongoing efforts to provide pipe-borne water throughout the country is crucial to the nation’s socio-economic development.
A LWSC source recently confirmed to the Daily Observer that the availability of pipe-borne water for Liberians is crucial to the management of sanitation and health facilities in the country.
Those who in the past failed to see the crucial link between health and sanitation now realize that Ebola has everything to do with sanitation, in which quality running water is an absolute necessity in prevention and eradication of the deadly virus.
Adherence to frequent hand washing, a cardinal preventive measure stipulated by health authorities, played a huge role in hindering more Ebola contamination to the point where the virus is now on the wane. The habit of frequent washing of hands with water and detergents could be more successfully sustained by having pipe-borne water available in communities throughout the country.
The Ebola virus outbreak in Northwestern Liberia’s Lofa County glaringly exposed the acute weakness of the nation’s health and sanitation conditions.
The ongoing efforts by the LWSC to rehabilitate public latrines and water facilities in several parts of the country are genuine indicators of a solid beginning in addressing post-Ebola challenges.
It is a known fact that some support partners are ready to join in assisting Liberia in its drive toward sustainably addressing the growing post-Ebola challenges, including the availability of pipe-borne nationwide.
But more importantly, Liberia as a nation, with the required fortitude, determination and resilience, must design effective and realistic projects and programs to cope with the post-Ebola challenges and constraints.
It would be prudent for the Ministry of Public Works and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to join the current efforts of the LWSC and support partners bringing their resources and expertise to the table to help tackle the sanitation and environmental challenges of the nation.
There is no gainsaying that the EPA, though compounded with administrative and policy challenges of its own, is a critical partner that must consider paramount on its agenda the post-Ebola challenges including protecting water sources, identifying safe locations for disposal of waste of all kinds and keeping pollution of the environment at a minimum.
The EPA, if it could only graduate from its current activities of hosting international programs by drawing up initiatives that are tailored to the current environmental realities on the ground in Liberia, would help make the country a better place to live.
The challenge is for these three critical agencies of the Liberian Government —LWSC, Public Works and EPA—to mobilize their collective efforts and professional workforce together with support partners, such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and China to tackle the challenges obstructing the free flow of pipe borne water to every household in the nation.
From all indications, in spite of the enormous challenges and problems, the government continues to enjoy the goodwill of friendly governments around the world, notably, United States of America, China, Nigeria, Germany, Norway, among many others who are willing to assist Liberia.
The list also includes United Nations, African Union, World Bank, African Development Bank, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), International Monetary Fund and European Union.
Principally, most if not all these countries and institutions have indicated and pledged their keen interest in the water, sanitation, hygiene and the general health sectors of the nation, especially in the post-Ebola era.
In conclusion, it should be recommended that unrelenting efforts to harness critical funds and technical resources from support partners be intensified in order to achieve the desired result of making pipe-borne water a norm rather than an exception in Liberia.