Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister (MFDP) Amara M. Konneh has assured residents of Nippy Town Community on the Old Road, of government’s commitment to providing basic social services for all Liberians, including safe drinking water, electricity and modern latrines. According to Minister Konneh, government is doing everything within its power to address the many challenges facing the population, despite the resource constraints and the crippling economic impact of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) on the country.
Dedicating seven hand pumps in Nippy Town Community on December 23 Minister Konneh disclosed that the Hand Pumps project was sponsored under the auspices of the Old Road Center for Intellectual Discourse (ORCID).
Speaking at the indoor program, Mr. Konneh paid his respect to the leadership of ORCID for taking the initiative on the hand pump project.
“You don’t have to be rich before you do something better for yourselves or your community. You see, I am from a very poor family…a little village boy. But today, I am the Finance Minister of my country. So all you need to do is have courage…do the right things and don’t forget to go to school,” Konneh told the youthful audience.
He remarked that the most important asset of a country is its people and therefore spending the country’s money on the people is of great importance.
“Water is life and I can tell you for sure that the money we spent on this community hand pump project is not mine. It is government’s money…..your money,” he said.
About US$28,000 was spent on the Nippy Town Community hand pumps project and Konneh explained that the government used the money to pay bills to the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) on behalf of the community and to fund the construction of the hand pumps.
“It is the people’s money. We paid the bills from LWSC because the people couldn’t afford to pay. I am your Finance Minister who once lived in this community and so I can’t afford to see you suffering and do nothing about it. The US$28,000 we paid to LWSC will be used to supply safe drinking water to over 50,000 people in this Nippy Town and the surrounding communities,” the Finance Minister explained.
He also pledged to invite the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) management to the Community to plant light poles and supply power to residents in the area.
The Minister urged the community leadership and residents to protect the pumps. “Friendship and relationship must be built on loyalty. You must protect these pumps,” he said.
For his part, LWSC Managing Director Charles Allen who attended the dedication ceremony thanked Minister Konneh for taking a keen interest in promoting and supporting water and sanitation projects.
“I am very impressed that Mr. Konneh has taken special interest in water and sanitation and I must admit that this is the first time I have seen a Finance Minister of Liberia taking such keen interest in this sector,” said Mr. Allen.
Earlier, the chairman of Nippy Town Community, Morris Varkins, thanked Minister Konneh and Managing Director Allen for making available safe drinking water to the community residents.
Mr. Varkins assured Minister Konneh and Mr. Allen of the residents’ preparedness to protect the pumps.
Mr. Varkins named the lack of safe drinking water, lack of electricity and the increase in crime activities as the three pressing challenges threatening the wellbeing of the people of Nippy Town Community.
Also speaking at the ceremony, ORCID chairman Jessie B. Kayeapou thanked Minister Konneh and Mr. Allen for the hand pumps and noted that water and light are the two most important social services in the world.