5 February 2013

Liberia: River Cess to Benefit From Hand-Pumps

A local non-profit organization, FACE Africa has broken grounds for the construction of at least five hand-pumps in River Cess County to provide safe drinking water for residents in the county. FACE Africa is expected to carry out the construction in Semgblog Town, Timbo District, to mark the official kick-off of a county-by-county initiative.

More than 250 clean water points are expected to be erected in the county by FACE Africa before 2017. The initiative, which is expected to benefit over 60,000 residents, will ensure that River Cess meets the government's 250 persons per safe water point target. The program will also address the country's challenge in meeting the Millennium Development Goals for water by 2017.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony recently in River Cess, the Executive Director of FACE Africa, Ms. Saran Kaba Jones, said the first five hand-pumps to be built are being funded by the Voss Foundation through the Lene Maria for Rent Vann fundraising campaign.

She said the pumps will be constructed in several towns, including the new compound constructed for people with disabilities in Cestos City, Gblosseo Community Clinic, Toby Town, Semgblog Town, and the Neozuin Public School campus, respectively.

In 2012, Ms. Jones was appointed International Goodwill Ambassador for River Cess County in recognition of her commitment to clean water initiatives in Liberia that have benefited thousands of citizens.

Several personalities attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including by Mr. Emmett Wilson, Program Coordinator of FACE Africa; Mr. Jerome Smith, River Cess County Engineer; Mr. Alphonso Kebbeh, County Protocol Officer; Mr. Saturday Zialu, County Information Officer, and members of GUDCA, the local development agency responsible for implementing the projects.

During the ceremony, Ms. Jones and the entire delegation present there stressed the need for community participation and ownership before, during and after the implementation phase. Meanwhile, residents of Semgblog Town have thanked Voss Foundation, FACE Africa, and authorities of the county for the initiative, and pledged full support to the exercise.

FACE Africa has been working in Liberia since 2010, building hand pumps and pit latrines in Montserrado, Grand Bassa, and Margibi counties, respectively. River Cess is one of the most marginalized and under-served counties in the areas of water and sanitation.

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