The Millennium Challenge Account-Liberia (MCA-L) has completed payment of US$160,869 to all 55 persons whose properties fell within the right of way of the Raw Water Pipeline construction.
MCA-L said in a statement issued over the weekend that it made the payments based on the extent of the impact on the affected assets (crops, land, and structures) through a process that ensured fairness and protection of the most vulnerable, including in some instances, equal division of funds between husbands and wives.
The last compensation to an individual landowner was made on July 15, 2020, after MCA-L conducted a three-month financial literacy skills training for the beneficiaries to ensure that they make smart investment choices to improve their quality of life.
EDUCARE, a local NGO, administered the training.
One of the beneficiaries, Wilmot Gooding, whose family had 12.5 acres of land along the route of the pipeline containing a variety of crops, including sugar cane and pineapples, used the compensation to invest in ventures that are generating more income for him.
Gooding said he was pleased with the compensation program, noting, “They are teaching us how to manage the money that was given to us for our farmlands. We also have a savings plan, and I put in L$500 (US$2.50) every day.”
MCA-L also donated an assortment of equipment for use in the Harrisburg Town Hall in exchange for a tract of land belonging to the community. The materials included a 3,000-Watt audio system, a generator, and pieces of furniture.
During the presentation ceremony, MCA-L’s Environmental and Social Performance Director, Paul Kennedy, urged residents of the town to be good stewards of the equipment. He suggested that they could use the equipment to rent their town hall for weddings and other events.
“Within less than a year, this town can generate enough income from the equipment to cover the original cost. This is a feature of how MCA-L projects are designed – we intend to leave project-affected communities unharmed or even better than we met them,” Kennedy said.
MCA-L also commissioned the Liberia National Red Cross Society to conduct community awareness and sensitization on HIV/AIDs, sexually transmitted infections, and malaria in the project affected communities.
MCA-L is building the new 48-inch diameter Raw Water pipeline with funding provided by the Government of the United States of America through its agency, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under the compact with Liberia.
The new pipeline will replace the original 36-inch diameter pipeline that was destroyed during Liberia’s civil war. When completed, the US$18 million pipelines will be capable of supplying clean and safe drinking water to about 1 million people in Monrovia and its surrounding, drawing water from the dam of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant to the White Plains Water Treatment Plant.
The project will save the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation approximately US$780,000 a year in electricity costs, as the water will soon be transported using gravity instead of pumping water into the treatment plant from the St. Paul River. The construction is scheduled to be completed in October 2020.
In October 2015, the Government of the United States of America, through its development agency, Millennium Challenge Corporation, provided a grant of US$257 million to Liberia. MCA-L is an independent, legal, and autonomous agency of the Government of Liberia created by the legislature to administer the compact projects, which address the lack of access to reliable and affordable electricity and inadequate road infrastructure.