Mr. Lawson and Minister Nyepan display the dirty bottle of water that was purified for drinking.
-- Public Works Minister Signs MoU with The Last Well; 30,000 water purification bucket system arrives for distribution to 5 counties
The provision of safe drinking water to the Liberian people is a priority of President George Weah's government, and therefore the Ministry of Public Works (MoPW) will partner with The Last Well, a United States-based international non-governmental organization (NGO), to ensure that its vision 2020 to provide safe drinking water to within 15 minutes' walking distance is achieved, said Minister Mobutu Vlah Nyepan on Monday, January 14, 2019, as he inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The MoU with The Last Well was agreed upon when the entity announced that it has brought 30,000 water purification systems that would, through the MoPW, be given to at least 230,000 Liberians in Ground Cape Mount, River Gee, River Cess, Sinoe and Maryland counties.
Minister Nyepan, right, and Mr. Doc Lawson during the signing of the MoU yesterday.
After a demonstration by Doc Lawson, which involved purifying a bottle of dirty water to safe drinking water and taking a zip, Minister Nyepan and others did likewise, with the minister expressing the conviction that the system is perfect. He announced that he would support The Last Well in its endeavor to provide safe drinking water for the Liberian people.
"We will monitor and support you with our coordinators," Minister Nyepan declared. "We'll provide you with any assistance that you will need to complete your goal and provide water to those residing in the five communities, till you complete the 2020 deadline for the 15 counties," he said.
He sent a request to Dr. Todd Phillips, president and founder of The Last Well, in order for the organization to increase its support so that no Liberian would die by drinking dirty water, for it has been the story in many leeward counties that international non-governmental agencies find difficult to reach.
Minister Nyepan re-emphasized that his ministry would do all it can to assist The Last Well but noted that, "Let me make it clear, the buckets for safe drinking water are not for sale."
Earlier, Doc Lawson, senior vice president for The Last Well's operations in Liberia, said before the project ten years ago, many Liberians were dying every month because of the lack of safe drinking water, quoting statistics carried out by The Last Well.
In a clarion call, he said no Liberian should die because of drinking dirty water. He said the water purification system has a life-span of 15 years in order to serve a family of eight persons and proper maintenance will ensure that the system is used for a long time.
"We are not here by chance," Lawson said. "The program started when 15,000 youths in Texas in the United States decided to make a miracle and therefore, in the end, they decided that water was the most important commodity for Liberia."
Public Works officials, including Minister Nyepan, and Doc Lawson of The Last Well
He said the choice for Liberia was made simultaneously by the youth, who decided to see a new miracle, and Dr. Phillips accepted the challenge to come to Liberia.
The mission of The Last Well is to provide access to safe drinking water for the entire nation of Liberia, border to border, and offer the gospel to every community by the year 2020.