The Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC), Hon. Dwannah Kamara, has revealed that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has injected USD$29 million dollars towards the expansion drive of the entity.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular Thursday press briefing at the Charles Gbenyon Hall at MICAT yesterday, the LWSC Director said, cities where mini-water treatment plants are being built are Kakata, Buchanan, Robertsport, Voinjama and Sanniquellie.
The LWSC boss said the expansion drive of the corporation is being carried out with support from donor partners. He further warned of a vigorous campaign on course against illegal connection of water.
Director Kamara said President George Manneh Weah will on next Wednesday travel to Sanniquellie to dedicate the city's water treatment plant.
"When the LWSC was established in 1958, it was meant to provide water for a population of only 400,000 residents, but today, the population in Monrovia alone is over 1.5 million people, something that underscores the need to expand service delivery", Kamara indicated.
He used the occasion to congratulate His Excellency President Weah for recently appointing the LWSC Board of Directors and an additional two deputy managing directors for sales and marketing and for Finance respectively.
According to him, the function of the LWSC is currently limited to supplying clean water and collection of sewage in urban areas such as Monrovia and county capitals, while the Ministry of Public Works deals with giving water to rural dwellers, adding that another stakeholder in the water business is the WASH or water sanitation and hygiene component.
Hon. Kamara further said the LWSC has introduced mobile money payment regime to make easy payment of water bills by its client, thereby migrating from sales to digital.
He revealed that between 4 to 10 million gallons of water is pumped into Monrovia on a daily basis, adding that because the underground pumps have become decayed, and many people lack ideas on where they were buried, the need arises to get them changed, which is why they have sent SOS messages to old employees with knowledge of how the pipe lines were buried to visit their office.
"Moreover a Taskforce comprising of members of the Liberia National Police is working with us to track down water theft and delinquent payers of water bills. We inherited over US$ million in debts," he said.
He said the American government is helping them through the Millennium Challenge and the USAID to help us expand services outside Monrovia, adding that the LWSC are also planning to get into three more cities in the South East including county and only nine will remain.
Mr. Kamara said in view of the enormous pressure for water and the electrical power generator is inadequate, the only way LWSC can continue it service provision, is when a solar panel power and a standby generator are installed to help pump water into these new cities earmarked.
"We will put announcements for those wishing to get themselves connected in these cities to register. It is only USD$32.00 monthly flat rate payment for connection, which is why instead of bypassing the system for connection, customers are advised to visit the nearest LWSC offices," Kamara said.
According to Mr. Kamara, in the remaining nine counties, they are anticipating identifying areas to dig bole-wells as a short-term solution, adding that they have been in discussions with members of the Bole-wells Association at an advanced stage, to enforce directives that anyone doing bole-wells commercial business above USD$5,000 profit must pay taxes to government as legislated by government.
"Anyone traveling to Ghana, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone will attest that water rate in Liberia is the cheapest," the LWSC/MD said.