Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has pledged support to The Last Well’s mission to provide safe drinking water to every village in Liberia by the year 2020.
Speaking at a one-day National Partner Conference at a local resort yesterday in Paynesville, the Vice President encouraged the gathering of over 80 representative partners (Christian groups) of The Last Well to honor their commitment to reflect what Jesus Christ would have done in their situation.
He reminded the gathering that very often humanitarian organizations come to Liberia with grand ideas to alleviate persistent needs, but it turns out that most of the services promised are found wanting.
“I am impressed with what The Last Well has done so far,” Veep Boakai noted, after hearing impressive statistics from The Last Well’s founder and president, Rev. Dr. Todd Phillips that Grand Kru County needs six weeks to get every town, district and village with wells to provide safe drinking water for the people and the good news of Christ.
Rev. Dr. Phillips had also said that, by December this year, Bomi County would receive safe drinking water in every village, town and district, along with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ambassador Boakai said since The Last Well is constructing wells to ensure that every Liberian has access to clean water within a 15 minute walk by the year 2020, it would require commitment to reflect the character of Jesus Christ.
He promised his full support to the realization of The Last Well’s objective and noted the importance of helping the beneficiaries to own the project to ensure their sustainability.
Earlier, Dr. Phillips re-echoed his commitment to the project and said every completed well serves no more than 600 people while the Gospel of Jesus Christ is also preached.
He explained that water borne diseases like typhoid, dysentery and malaria kill 100 Liberian children before their first birthdays in rural communities and noted that with the completion of wells to provide them safe drinking water, such life-threatening experiences have become a thing of the past.
“Since 2008 we have completed 1,646 projects and last year we completed 512 alone,” Dr. Phillips said, “and at the height of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak we completed 416.” He credited God for The Last Well’s phenomenal success.
To date, he said more than 1,000,000 Liberians have access to safe drinking water and the Gospel in Bomi, Grand Kru and Bong counties. “By December 2017 we will complete projects in Grand Cape Mount, Margibi and Maryland counties,” he stated.
The conference examined strategies to ensure that by the year 2020 the whole of Liberia will benefit from safe drinking water and the Gospel, and noted that the next 53 months will make Liberia the first developing country in history to have universal access to clean water and the Gospel.
Mr. Doc Lawson, senior vice president of Liberia Operations, spoke on the mandate received by Dr. Phillips from God to complete the job in Liberia and the need for the partners to be mindful of the trust needed to support the effort – the importance of seeing that the issue is large enough to find their vision to get their assignments done.
He challenged them to be “locked in” to get the mandate fulfilled.
Mr. George Yarngo, assistant minister for community services at the Ministry of Public Works, provided an overview of its support to The Last Well’s mission.
Among the 21 church organizations represented were, Community Hope/Wesleyan Church, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Lead Liberia, The Bible Society in Liberia, Samaritan’s Purse, Lifewater, Assemblies of God, Teamwork Africa, Water of Life and World Hope International.