Water & Sewer To Expand Services
The Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) Prof. Dwanna Kamara has outlined the need for the expansion of the operations of the LWSC, so that it adequately respond to the needs of Liberia’s growing urban population especially in Monrovia and other cities and towns.
Addressing the Thursday Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information yesterday, Prof. Kamara noted that the Whiteplains water treatment plant was meant to serve water to a population of 400,000 inhabitants in Monrovia in the 1970s.According to Mr. Kamara, since its construction, the water pipes bringing water to Monrovia are now obsolete as they have not been changed, and the population of Monrovia has increased from 400,000 to about 1.4 million inhabitants.
Mr. Kamara stressed that 78% of the 4.8 million gallons of water supplied to Monrovia from the whiteplains treatment plant is lost to thieves, through illegal connections and other dishonest practices, but he warns of a penalty of a LD$1,500 fine imposed by LWSC for those caught in water theft.
“Residents of communities are warned that if they see our team, they should work with them to regularize their bill status as our pro-poor LWSC workers in uniforms will ask the question are you a resident of this community?, Does your house has water bills,” he said.
He said LWSC will be recruiting these pro-poor workers some of whom were campaigners for the pro-poor during the campaign period, adding that their role will be to encourage community dwellers to register with the LWSC rather than engage in illegal acts.
Explaining the water-meter on wells issue that has been misinterpreted in some quarters, he said after a dialogue with the water producers association, they seem to be reaching an understanding adding that their next meeting comes up in 2 weeks time.
Prof. said the LWSC Act which they are implementing for the benefit of the health of the general public against water related diseases gives them (the LWSC) the power to monitor and control water wells and boreholes engaged in selling over 5,000 gallons of water a month to the general public.
He observed that apart from monitoring and control they give the operators chlorines and water treatment items, as well as certify them in exchange for a fee, adding that these are people some of whom have been doing that business for 10 to 15 years with some profits without any government control.
“Water is a Natural Resource that belongs to the Liberian people, so we feel the LWSC Act is in place to safeguard the health interests of the people,” he said.
Touching on the LWSC expansion drive, Prof. Kamara said they are engaging donor partners to build water and sewer sub-plants in Buchanan, Kakata and Voinjama expected to ensure that 200,000 resident subscribers from each of those cities are connected.
He said at the moment whiteplains water treatment plant only have 4 pumps with 100 meters per head, and plans to engage donor partners to provide support for their expansion to higher capacities.
Mr. Kamara said the LWSC is in the process of bringing water to residents of Monrovia within 90 days, despite the challenges of pipe leakages and private properties being constructed on LWSC lines while they are in talks with the World Bank to fund the expansion of the New Georgia and Fiamah branches of water tanks.
Responding to a reporter’s question, he expressed regret over the leakage of sewerage lines in Monrovia especially during the rainy season, adding that it is an age old problem, there is a gross shortage of sewage lines in Monrovia, as the one line serving Monrovia runs from Nigeria House to Beer Factory in Monrovia, and so they plan to solicit World Bank support to expand lines.
Prof. Kamara used the occasion to express appreciation to the first Lady Madam Clar Weah, who out of concern for the health needs of the Liberian people in the rural areas has secured the support of a German private group to furnish free water turbines and tankers to be installed across Liberia. (By John L. Momoh).