Recommits to construct 116 safe drinking wells
An American Christian non-governmental organization, The Last Well, says it has begun constructing about 116 safe drinking wells in Foya Statutory District in Lofa County.
According to Abdul Koroma, Last Well’s senior advisor on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), construction of water wells has already begun in the district. Koroma is also the government Engagement Specialist.
He told the Daily Observer in a recent interview that, in line with The Last Well’s goal to provide safe drinking water to Liberians, the implementation of the organization’s border to border strategy for the project has been formalized.
By the strategy, The Last Well provides safe drinking water through the construction of hand pumps and distribution of special sanitation and water treatment buckets to Liberians, be they in rural or urban parts of the country.
The Last Well started operations in Liberia in 2008, and has worked in several communities.
Koroma said that since The Last Well started operations in the country, it has completed projects in five of the 15 counties, to include Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Maryland and Grand Kru.
He said in those counties, The Last Well constructed new hand pumps, and repaired old ones that were constructed by aid agencies, and private organizations.
In some communities, The Last Well did not construct new hand pumps, but only distributed Soya filters, because a community of 20 persons will not get a new hand pump due to the cost attached.
According to Mr. Koroma, about 1.6 million inhabitants, as per the standard, are benefiting from the 600 persons per hand pump.
He said that when there are water shortages in a given area or region, there are issues of health and agriculture challenges that will confront the population and its communities.
Mr. Koroma also stated that when the Lofa water situation was reported, the Last Well responded in 24 hours and, when the assessment team visited the affected districts, the city mayors and governors’ councils pledged their support and cooperation in the drive to achieve success.
During the assessment and interactions with the local authorities, Superintendent William T. Kamba, Sr., described The Last Well’s response as a rescue mission to serve and save humanity.
As a result of the launch, The Last Well has constructed six new hand pumps repaired some of old ones in Vahun District.
In Salayea District, The Last Well has constructed several new wells, while old ones are being repaired in an effort to respond to the growing water needs of the local residents and small Liberian businesses.
The Superintendent however underscored the need for residents, and local leaders to consider the need to take ownership of the water projects to ensure that they are maintained.
Meanwhile, Koroma told the Daily Observer that The Last Well intends to construct 116 new wells and rehabilitate 160 old ones during the course of the project implementation.
In Nimba and Margibi County, he added, the Last Well is expected to construct 313 hand pumps and distribute soya buckets. It has meanwhile carried out an initiative the organization described as a “border to border water access program” for the locals.