Liberia is poised to receive a US$ 19.9 million from the African Development Bank to address the poor sanitary conditions of Monrovia, but certain “simple conditions” need to be met. The Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) N. Hun-Bu Tulay said the ADB has agreed to provide the amount as a “soft loan” to the Liberian government for use by the LWSC.
The “conditions” he said are: that government must be willingness to accept the fund as a grant; that government establishes a “single institution” to spearhead water and sanitation projects; and that government gives “strong support” to findings and recommendation of an ongoing study on water and sanitation integration.
The Bank will provide the money “for the restoration of the White Plain Hydro and the LWSC facilities in Voinjama, Lofa County,” Mr. Tulay told President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last Wednesday [30 September 2009] in Gardnersville at the commissioning of a community water supply system, built by the Japanese government.
The White Plain Hydro was the power source of pipe borne water supply to Monrovia and its environs before the back-to-back 14 year (1989-2003) destructive civil war. Since then, full restoration of water supply to Monrovia and its environs has not succeeded, as a result of the huge overhead cost associated, and coupled with the lace of electricity.
Around 63% of dwellers in the Greater Monrovia rely on unsafe water source daily a survey by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) reveals.
JICA last Tuesday [29 september 2009] officially unveiled the Draft Final Report of the Master Plan Study on Urban Facilities Restoration and Improvement in Monrovia. In the Master Plan Study, JICA focused on the recovery and reconstruction of urban facilities, which are road, public water supply, sewerage and drainage.
“When we look at the present situation, we face a lot of difficulties, which include: (1) deterioration of main and distribution pipeline; (2) around 63% of dwellers in the Greater Monrovia have to rely on unsafe water source; (3) lack of stable water supply, (4) lack of proper water quality monitoring on water supply system and boreholes” JICA’s Chief Representative Mr. Kunihiro Yamauchi reemphasized at the Gardnersville water supply commissioning ceremony on Wednesday.
Mr. Tulay told the Liberian Leader that the ADB is willing sign the agreement with the Liberian for the funds to be used directly by the LWSC; that is, the agreement will not be directly between the LWSC and ADB.
The LWSC wants to implement “short term water supply program” to the public, and there is and need to take advantage of the opportunity because “water is very important to life,” said Tulay.
Since it would require legislation to establish to national water and sanitation institution, which would of course be time-consuming, Mr. Tulay suggested that the President exercises her power-Executive Order-to set up a water and sanitation commission.
All international partners coming into the country to undertake water and sanitation programs would operate through this commission, and this would be a unique way of integrating the sector to foster development, Mr. Tulay agreed with the ADP.
The President did not make a definite comment on the issue, but nodded somewhat in affirmation.
JICA in its survey developed groundwater development plan and water supply development plan for target years of 2014 and 2019. Mr. Yamauchi said according to the plan, future water demand in Greater Monrovia was estimated to be 19 Million Gallon/day in 2014 and 30 Million Gallon/day in 2019, adding that “The estimation shows that the gap between demand and water production is widening.”
President Sirleaf lauded the Japanese government through JICA for the construction of the satellite water system that would provide safe drinking water for at least 1,000 residents in the MTA community.
Source: D.K. Sengbeh, The Informer / allAfrica.com, 05 Oct 2009