Two local based non-governmental organizations, Christian Faith and the Living Water International have declared 12 rural communities surrounding Kakata, Margibi County as open defecation free.
Fifteen communities were selected by both organizations under the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Initiative, but only 12 were successful and received the ODF status.
The ODF program seeks to encouraged locals communities to keep their environment clean and healthy by building their own toilets, dish racks, clothes lines and garbage bins, among other initiatives to promote better sanitary conditions.
Making remarks during the ODF celebration in Margibi County over the weekend, the Paramount Chief of Kakata District, Fahn Lepolue commended Living Water International for the initiative in the District.
Paramount Chief Lepolue urged residents in the twelve communities to ensure that they maintain their ODF status.
He said fines are awaiting individuals and communities that will be caught carrying on acts contrary to their ODF status.
The County Inspector, Tarh Sackie, said the citizens of Margibi County are grateful for engagements of Living Water International with citizens benefiting from Community Led Total Sanitation Initiatives.
He said his office will work along with the communities to ensure sustainability of the sanitation practices.
He emphasized the need for residents of the twelve communities to make use of facilities constructed by them through Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).
The County Inspector warned the communities to manage the hand pumps, toilets and continue to keep their communities clean and healthy.
Mr. Sackie praised the 12 communities for embracing the Community Led Total Sanitation Initiative carried to their areas by Living Water International.
Providing an overview of CLTS, its Field Officer at the Ministry of Health, Henry Kiatamba said the program introduced by government is intended to create a platform through which a safe environment can be developed.
Mr. Kiatamba indicated that the initiative was introduced by the government to educate locals about the importance of living in a clean environment and rejecting behaviors that are associated with a filthy environment.
He commended the 12 communities for embracing CLTS practices and urged them to continue with such good practices in their respective communities.
He also commended Living Water International for its continuous contributions to Liberia and the WASH sector, and encouraged others to emulate the good example. For his part, the Country Director of Living Water International, Austin Nyaplue informed citizens and well-wishers attending the program that development is a collective effort.
Nyaplue said development will become progressive when the citizens of Liberia take ownership of the process. He said the CLTS Initiative is a way of developing the towns that obtained ODF status.
The Country Director of the faith based organization disclosed that the dream of his entity is to see Liberia declared open defecation free. He encouraged residents to maintain the facilities constructed by them and his organization.
As an entity, Mr. Nyaplue said it is interested in feeling and seeing the impact of its initiative in the county. He said when towns that are declared ODF continue to maintain their status, it will immensely contribute to a good health status in the respective communities.
He told locals that his organization remains committed to continue with efforts of the government of Liberia and partners in providing safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene.
Living Water International since 2013 has managed to work with 44 communities using the CLTS method. The charity has facilitated 35 communities to obtain the status of Open Defecation Free in both Kakata and Gibi Districts, Margibi County.