Three USAID-funded water projects, valued at US$29 million, were over the weekend dedicated in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County; Sanniquellie, Nimba County; and Voinjama, Lofa County. Implemented under the Capital Improvement Project, three water treatment facilities in the three provincial cities were restored with safe drinking water for the inhabitants.
Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation Managing Director Duannah Kamara, classified the water facilities as the biggest USAID-funded projects in West Africa and called on superintendents of the benefiting counties to maintain the facilities to avoid anyone misusing them.
Making the presentation of these facilities to the authorities of their respective counties, Mr. Kamara, who formally presented those facilities to local authorities representing the benefiting counties, said: "These are your facilities. They are not something for anyone to misuse or overlook... for personal use."
He reiterated the importance of water to life, and therefore urged the residents to preserve the facilities to ensure that they are well maintained.
The water facilities were rehabilitated to a modern international standard, where the water has to pass through many processes of purification and filtration before it is pumped to the city for consumption. Each of the facilities has over 900 pieces of solar panels planted to provide smooth pumping of water.
The project engineer said that the solar power will provide about 380 kilowatts of electricity that could electrify the those capital cities, but the power is restricted only to the water facility.
The dedication ceremony over the weekend in Sanniquellie was attended by senior government officials, headed by Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf, USAID Mission Director Anthony Chan and entourage.
Chan expressed gratitude to the contractors for the successful completion of the projects, and added that despite the improvement of those facilities that have been lying in ruin for decades, many Liberians still lacked access to safe drinking water.
He said the three water treatment plants are so important to the end users, because they represent an extremely important milestone in the collective works of both the donor and the Liberian government, to give all Liberians access to safe drinking water.
He said the residents of these cities will no longer walk long distances to get water, rather they will use their time for other economic activities to improve their lives.
On behalf of the government, Minister Sirleaf hailed the Government of the U.S. Government for the many supports to the country, including health, education and infrastructures.
On Friday, May 27, 2016, the Liberia Municipal Water Project was officially launched in Sanniquellie by the Liberian government and its US counterpart.
In his groundbreaking statement at the time, Dr. Chan said the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit held less than a year prior to inauguration of the water projects, adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030, with goal six calling for access to clean water and adequate sanitation for all.
Ishmael F. Menkor