Robertsport gets safe drinking water after 20 years

By: Augustine N. Myers –

Robertsport City, the provincial capital of Grand Cape Mount county has benefited from safe drinking water, after a period of 20 years.

The provision of the safe drinking water followed the intervention of the Liberia Municipal Water Project, sponsored by the United states Agency for International development (USAID), and implemented by Tetra Tech in collaboration with the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC).
The President testing the functionality of the new water pumps for Robertsport

The President testing the functionality of the new water pumps for Robertsport
Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf taking a drink of the water from one of the pumps

Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf taking a drink of the water from one of the pumps
Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf cutting ribbon to mark the official dedication of the Immediate Water Services Improvement Project in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf cutting ribbon to mark the official dedication of the Immediate Water Services Improvement Project in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County
Pumps of the Immediate Water Services Improvement Project in Robertsport

Pumps of the Immediate Water Services Improvement Project in Robertsport It is part of a Quick Water Impact Project for Robertsport city, ahead of Liberia’s 166th Independence celebrations. Robertsport is one of the three cities co-hosting the celebration this year.

The Robertsport Immediate Water Services Improvement Project was officially dedicated over the week-end, as promised by the implementing firm, “Tetra Tech”.

Citizens and residents of Robertsport have welcomed the provision of safe water supply to their city and have promised to fully utilize the service. Robertsport City Mayor, James Kiazolu said the city has been without life since the start and end of the Liberian civil crisis, meaning that the city has been without safe drinking water for more than 20 years, stressing that water is life.

The County Superintendent, Mehammed Paasewe commended LWSC and USAID for the project, stressing that the Quick Water Impact Project has given hope to the people of Robertsport.

The Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC), Charles Allen described the Project as the beginning of good things, noting that it august well for the people of Robertsport as the LWSC was gradually returning to develop a pipe system for the city.

According to him, he Quick Impact Project is a full runner of what is to happen regarding the Liberia Water Municipal Project to re-establish pipe borne water for three Liberian cities. He named Robertsport in Grand Cape mount county, Voinjama in Lofa county and Sanniquellie in Nimba county as the 3 areas specified under the Project.

He also said the Quick Impact Project in Robertsport is a full runner of the Liberia Municipal Water Project because it will allow the people of Robertsport to go with their cars and wheel bearers to access safe drinking water that will directly impact their lives and standard of living.

“This intervention is also meant to reduce water-related diseases”, the LWSC Boss asserted. The Quick Impact Project in Robertsport will ensure that the city will have pipe-borne water with in the period of six months to one year.

He also said in Liberia, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector is the main strain of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the basis of Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) which is also the basis for the Agenda for Transformation.

Mr. Allen described the WASH sector as important, because according to him, it forms the basis of all development works that are to be done in the country.

Also speaking, USAID Mission Director, Patricia Rader commanded LWSC for the timely completion of the Project. She said the refurbishing of the water plant represents the first step in bringing safe drinking water supply to Robertsport.

“Today is the first time in 20 years that there is a cost recovery water system in Robertsport that will ensure the availability of safe water to the city”, the USAID Mission Director asserted.

Madam Raderdisclosed that the Project is a Pilot, which she disclosed as a testing ground for cost recovery for the water system, not just for Robertsport but the rest of Liberia.

According to her, USAID will be working with the Liberian government and people to rehabilitate the old water treatment plant in Robertsport which got damaged as a result of the civil crisis.

She also said, the United States government through USAID and the Liberia Municipal Water Project is committed to improving the lives of the people of Robertsport by increasing access to safe and affordable water, but stressed that the people must play an even important role to make sure the water remains for generations to come.

The USAID Mission Director further warned that Robertsport residents must protect the precious source of the Fasa Creek, which is now used to provide safe drinking water to Robertsport. She wants the creek protected from developers, farmers, pollution and other actions that threaten the source of safe water, with a call on Robertsport citizens and residents to take charge and full responsibility of protecting the creek.

Madam Rader said in addition to improving the lives and particularly the health of the people, clean water can also help the overall economy of Robertsport to its full potential.

For her part, Africa’s Goodwill Ambassador on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf recounted that three years ago in her annual message to the National Legislature, she spoke of the resuscitation of the water system in six counties of Liberia, 3 each to be funded respectively by USAID and the African Development Bank.

She said government was glad that the first phase of the USAID sponsored project has now been realized, after reported delay by the former Management Team at the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC).

She also expressed hope that with the new Team at the LWSC, all will be done to rehabilitate water facilities in Robertsport, Voinjama and Sanniquellie to provide safe drinking water for the residents.

President Sirleaf also used the occasion to speak about the poor sanitary condition of Robertsport.

According to her, the issue of sanitation in Robertsport is a challenge to the Superintendent of Grand Cape Mount county and the new Management Team of LWSC, and called on them to develop a road map to be able to address the problem.

The WASH Goodwill Ambassador for Africa said Liberia will not like to see the MDG period ending in 2015 without significant improvement not only in additional access to water, but do something to urgently respond to the provision of sanitation facilities.

She called for the construction of public toilet facilities and also the involvement of other individuals in providing sanitation services in the county.

The President said government was grateful for the Project in Robertsport because it will improve the lives of the people, especially women and children who suffer from diseases as a result of drinking polluted water.

President Sirleaf at the same time called on Robertsport residents to properly utilize the new Quick Impact Water Project.

Robertsport City, the provincial capital of Grand Cape mount county with its 11,969 habitants is roughly 49 mi (or 79 km) North-West of Monrovia, the seat of the Liberian government.

The dedication of the Project in Robertsport is in fulfillment to a promise for the provision of safe drinking water to the City by February 15.

The intervention in Robertsport followed a recent assessment by the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia in that provincial capital, in which the need to provide safe drinking water was among other key WASH issues highlighted.

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