Border communities in the Mano River Union (MRU) basin will soon benefit from the provision of safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene services, MRU Resident Representative to Liberia Lawrence Morris has said.
The initiative, he said, is part of the MRU’s WASH Programs in the river basin to assist rural communities to have access to the provision of safe water.
In an interview with WASH journalists in Monrovia recently, Mr. Morris said efforts are now underway to ensure that WASH services are provided to border communities in the MRU basin.
He said the provision of safe WASH services will assist the union to fight any disease outbreak and would help improve the health condition of citizens of member states.
Morris spoke of constraints in the program which he said were retarding the implementation of the project.
He attributed the Ebola crisis in the MRU basin as one aspect that brought setbacks to the program.
As part of the MRU WASH Initiative, the union in concert with the United States Government has conducted training aimed at making use of rivers to supply safe drinking water in communities near streams and rivers.
According to Mr. Morris, the training showed participants how to use stream water to send pipe borne water into communities. He said besides the training in the US, there are also some local project initiatives on water resource management.
A similar program is ongoing in Sierra Leone with the MRU and the US Forest Service, while international programs are implementing the third phase of the Sustainable and Thriving Environments for West Africa Regional Development Program (STEWARD), which started in 2011.
Mr. Morris said the program, funded by USAID/West Africa, is aimed at positively contributing to the conservation of the vast natural resources and unique biodiversity in the sub region and promoting sustainable development in MRU member states.
The key component of this program is the provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services to forest communities as a strategic intervention to re-enforce the conservation objectives of the program and improve the health and wellbeing of the people, said Morris.