Voinjama City, the capital of Lofa County, is home to more than 11,000 residents. The county’s capital also plays host to a number of foreign and Liberian-owned businesses.
Every year during the Dry Season residents of Voinjama endure the hardship of acute clean water shortages.
In a recent tour of Voinjama, dozens of the city’s inhabitants were seen desperately searching for water sources while others were stranded and stood in long queues for several hours at old hand pumps.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Liberia Municipal Water Project (LMWP/Tetra-tech) has earmarked US$12 million for water treatment rehabilitation.
The LWSC’s outstation water treatment plant in Voinjama was completely destroyed during the Liberian civil conflict in the early 1990s.
According to LMWP/Tetra-tech officials, the water project is a four-year plan intended to rehabilitate the provincial capital cities of Robertsport, Sanniquellie, and Voinjama in Grand Cape Mount, Nimba and Lofa Counties, respectively.
LMWP/Tetra-tech officials told the Daily Observer that several training seminars have been conducted for Local Steering Committee members intended for the sustainable management of LWSC outstations in the three counties.
Hence, the ground breaking ceremony for the Robertsport City water project was held in Grand Cape Mount County last year which was attended by the American Ambassador to Liberia Madam Deborah Malac and top officials of USAID, LMWP/Tetra-tech, LWSC and local Liberian Government officials.
When interviewed early last week, some Voinjama residents underscored the need to fast-track the water project; which they feel is moving at a snail’s pace in terms of implementation.
They claimed that too much bureaucracy is associated with the actual implementation of the water.
The residents explained that several water sources in Voinjama are not reliable as majority of the water wells and hand pumps are in dilapidated states.
Some of the residents and business people told the Daily Observer last week that they get up as early as 4:30am to rush to the various hand pumps and water wells to fetch the available clean water.
Voinjama City is one of the fastest growing in terms of population among Liberia’s 15 counties.
Because of this fact, the residents said the provision of clean pipe-borne water to the city’s more than 11,000 inhabitants and their respective business entities could not be over-emphasized.
Ms. Kebbeh Kesselly said they have endured so many hardships as a result of the continued water shortage in Voinjama and its immediate environs.
Businessman Mulbah Beyan, a restaurant operator in Voinjama noted the situation in the city needs urgent intervention by the LWSC and its support partners.
Several of Voinjama’s major water sources are presently running dry. Due to this situation urgent steps by the LWSC’s management need to be buttressed by all concerned stakeholders.