The Managing Director of the National Housing Authority (NHA), Duannah Siryon, says the development of Liberia will be possible if every official of government seeks to leave a positive legacy at the institution they serve.
He was speaking at the end of a nine-day workshop organized by NHA and Habitat for Humanity with support from Slum Dwellers International, Water Aid, YMCA, UN-Habitat and Women in Informal Employment, Cities Alliance, Federation of Liberian Urban Poor Savers (FOLUPS), among others.
Siryon said Liberia’s development is long overdue but this government, led by President George Weah, will prioritize national growth and prosperity.
“Individuals must not think of themselves in terms of what they can achieve personally at the expense of the interest of the people,” he said. “We must begin to think about what we can leave behind when we are no more in positions where we were assigned as leaders. What is the major breakthrough you want people to remember you for during your time of public service?” Siryon asked.
He added: “If you can concentrate on those positive things and work towards them in the interest of patriotism, this country would be way better than it is now.”
The Habitat for Humanity workshop was meant to conclude arrangements for the provision of affordable and safe drinking water, sanitation and improved hygiene for the over 30,000 residents of Peace Island in Monrovia.
Siryon commended the efforts of all who participated in the exercise to find a way to provide safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene for the people and to prevent diseases in the community.
The NHA official challenged the people to respond by complementing the efforts of those who have come to assist them, assuring that as head of the NHA, he would cooperate with all well-meaning and viable institutions that are bringing services to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable in slum communities across the country.
The National Housing Authority was enacted into law in 1960 with a statutory mandate to build affordable housing estates for the Liberian poor. The Authority is now working with several developers to fulfill its mandate of providing affordable, durable and modern housing for all.
Siryon said the people are eager for the best things in life, and it is realistic to know that there are processes for things to work out, noting: “It is like an election, first a timetable, campaign, elections, results announcement and inauguration, and so these things take some time to get done.”
He extolled the government’s relationship with international partners and commended HFHI and other bilateral partners, as well as community organizations for making the program a success.
For his part, the Chief of Party of Habitat for Humanity International Liberia Country Program, Mr. Matthew Ndote, said his entity has secured funding from The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to provide water, sanitation and hygiene, among others, for the over 30,000 residents of Peace Island.
During the nine-day program, a solid plan, involving processes, expectations and suggestions, was brought out and discussed by the participants and representatives of Peace Island, including market women, to develop a sense of ownership of the effort to upgrade the Island community.
Mr. Francisco M. Juarez, acting program manager, Cities Alliance, expressed appreciation for the efforts to upgrade Peace Island and promised his entity’s support to work with the NHA and other partners to build cities in the country, the release concluded.