The NEWS (Monrovia)

Liberia: Govt Targets 22 Public Latrines, Water

The Government of Liberia through a partnership amongst the Ministry of Finance, General Services Agency (GSA) and the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) has begun the rehabilitation of 22 battered public latrines and 112 water kiosks in Monrovia to bring water sanitation and hygiene relief to targeted communities.

Under the government's sponsored "Monrovia Quick Impact Water and Sanitation" project, several existing latrines in deplorable and unhealthily sanitary conditions will be reconditioned.

The project seeks to develop water kiosks in the target communities to reduce water borne diseases as well as enhance the availability of water and sanitation services to the people.

Breaking grounds for the project President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says due to the extensive destruction of infrastructure caused by years of conflict and the lack of maintenance, many basic public services were discontinued, especially water supply and sanitation.

A Finance Ministry Press Release quotes the Liberian leader as expressing joy that the "Quick Impact Project" was finally off the ground to bring needed relief to the people.

An elated President Sirleaf thanked the Minister of Finance, Amara Konneh for delivering on the project. She called on the community residents to ensure the facilities were properly maintained. She also used the occasion to underscore the need and importance of community unity, co-existence, stressing they were critical to fostering development and improving lives.

Prior to the conflict, approximately 75% of the country's population (2.5 million) lived in rural areas, but as a result of the conflict, thousands of people fled in to Monrovia, which experienced rapid urban population growth. This severely stressed Monrovia marginally in water and sanitation systems.

The Quick Impact project will cover Newport Street, Randall Street, Front Street, Buzzy-Quarter, Gurley Street, Warren Street and Bassa Community. Other communities to be cover include West Point and New Kru Town.

Making remarks, Finance Minister Amara Konneh paid tribute to the President for her leadership in helping to restore basic social services to the people. He said the project was being realized because of the collaborative spirit and effort of the sector agencies working on the programs, and also, on the partnership between the Executive and the Legislative branches of government.

He assured that the government will continue to make good on her promise to restore social services and urged the beneficiary communities to work together for the success of the project.

The Quick Impact Project which was launched in Bassa Community on Tuesday, February 18th, will be concluded on May 10th, 2014 and is also expected to reduce the water shortage problems in the beneficiary communities.

As a key stakeholder in the WASH sector, the LWSC is leading the implementation together with the General Services Agency.

The project is expected to create some economic activities, especially for those in the sale of disinfectants and toiletries and will create about 500 job opportunities, mainly targeting young people in those communities.

The project has a significant social impact as it will improve a better and more hygienic atmosphere for residents.

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