Jefferson Knight, Program Director of the Human Rights Monitoring Arm of the Liberian Annual Conference, the United Methodist Church, says if a nation and its people must be healthy at all times, its government must be able to prioritize access to clean and safe drinking water for its citizenry.
Mr. Knight made the statement when he dedicated one of several hand pump projects across the country which was initiated by Water for Life program of the Liberia Annual Conference, the United Methodist Church (LAC/UMC) in Monrovia.
He said when people have access to safe drinking water; residents of those communities will be healthy. He added that if these things are done the issue of cholera and other water-borne diseases will be reduced.
On January 10, 2020, the Church with support from the Hope United Methodist, based in the United States of America, dedicated a hand pump to the residents of the Neezoe community through the Redeemed Church of God in Paynesville.
"We want to dedicate this pump over to you as a church and community," Knight said. "As God has blessed us as a church, we also want to be a blessing to the congregation and the people of Neezoe."
He said following a careful observation in the community with the level of discussion he held with Pastor Jerry Saway of the Redeemed Church of God regarding difficulties citizens face in getting water, the church thought it was important to address such a problem.
According to him, the UMC Water for Life program is a lifesaving project and the water provided to the community was not just an ordinary one; "it has been purified by God himself."
Knight told reporters that the project started since 2019, adding, "we were able to complete about 60 wells in different communities around the country and today we have these projects being provided to communities by the United Methodist Church.
"The Neezoe community project, he said, is worth US$3,000. He also noted that over the years the outbreak of diseases and other sicknesses are a result of a poor drinking water system.
"So when the government offers a good water system by making clean and safe drinking water accessible, I think our nation will be healthy and healed.
Mr. Knight said the UMC water for life program is not just into water activities but also into sanitation. "We want to assure you that, as time goes by, once we get these kinds of support we will come back to give you modern toilet facilities," he promised.
It may be recalled in 2019, the LAC/UMC also constructed over 15 modern toilets and, this year, it is going to embark on about 20 toilets around the country.
However, the Water for Life is a program of the United Methodist Church in Liberia that has been around for the past nine years, reaching out to communities, towns and villages that lack especially clean water.
The Pastor of the Redeemed Church of God, Saway, earlier acknowledged that over the years the lack of access to safe and clean drinking water for the community has been a serious problem.
"The community, especially those of our congregation have suffered too long that they are going to be direct beneficiaries of the UMC water project. Thank God for this project," he said.