The Last Well and about 70 partners yesterday recommitted to the mission to provide every Liberian community access to clean water along with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by the year 2020.
At a one-day partners’ conference held in Monrovia, Dr. Todd Phillips, founder and executive director of the United States based non-governmental organization, energized the gathering, representing several Christian groups not to lose focus on the mandate.
Dr. Phillips told the gathering that giving the gift of clean water to Liberians in need earns them the right to share the message of Jesus with each person they serve, which is the core mission of The Last Well.
The campaign began in 2009, and by 2015 clean water had been provided through the construction of wells in Bomi, Bong and Grand Kru counties through Last Well’s partnership with World Hope International and Water 4 Life.
Other organizations assisting in the construction of wells in Margibi, Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Grand Bassa, Sinoe and River Cess counties are Living Water International, Teamwork Africa, Word Sower Liberia, Vision Collaboration, Equip Liberia and Water of Life/CRCA.
The Last Well and its partners are determined to ensure that they reach their objective of every Liberian having access to clean water within a 15-minute walk with every project serving no more than 600 people and when the Gospel has been preached in every community they serve.
The gathering learned that to date 1,855 projects have been completed, with 2,200 projects pending.
Mr. George W.K. Yarngo, Assistant Minister for Community Services at the Ministry of Public Works, expressed appreciation for the successes enumerated by The Last Well, but noted that those working along with them must demonstrate integrity.
Admitting The Last Well’s role in mobilizing funds for the project, Mr. Yarngo said the level of collaboration with local partners must be based on reality and the commitment to serve, since very often such programs are abandoned when lack of integrity interferes with their execution.
“While our partner, The Last Well, mobilizes funds to bring to Liberia, it is important that we demonstrate trust and integrity to get the job done,” Mr. Yarngo said. He commended The Last Well for remembering Liberia with such a remarkable project that would eliminate infectious diseases and allow children to observe their next birthdays.
Mr. Amos Twehway Sawmadal, director WASH Rural Water Development at the Ministry of Public Works, stressed the need for personal accountability to ensure that Liberians, who are the beneficiaries, take ownership of the wells.
He said the provision of wells for Liberians in the leeward counties must be sustained and therefore a way must be found to let the people enjoy clean water beyond the year 2020.
“After the year 2020 when every community has clean water,” he said, “our challenge is to sustain the benefits.” He said there is a greater need for The Last Well and partners to work together with the beneficiary communities to develop means to sustain the project after 2020.
Mr. Doc Lawson, senior vice president of The Last Well’s Liberian operations, told the gathering that the mandate for the realization of the mission is in their court and therefore they must own their own vision to complete the project started by Dr. Phillips and his team to move Liberia forward in the country’s Agenda for Transformation.
Participating representatives, drawn from Community Hope, Wesleyan Church, Church of the Nazarene/NCM, COHDEP, Liberia United Pastoral Network, Water of Life, CRCA, Lifewater, Assemblies of God, among others, expressed their commitment to the mandate.