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Global Communities Celebrates World Water Day in Liberia

Published 04/05/2016 by Global Communities

Global Communities Celebrates World Water Day in Liberia

Bong County WASH entrepreneurs and PACS staff.
By Alex Keimbe, Global Communities Liberia

World Water Day offers a global reminder of how critical freshwater is for life, as well as how limited our supplies are. This special day was started 19 years ago as a way to help people waste less water, mainly focusing on direct, straightforward actions like taking shorter showers or washing fewer clothes. World Water Day is held annually on March 22 to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year the global theme is “Water and Jobs.”

This year’s World Water Day was celebrated by PACS in Lofa, Nimba, and Bong Counties between March 21 and 23, 2016. The main objective of the event was to bring together WASH entrepreneurs, district leaders and community members to promote the work of the WASH entrepreneurs within selected communities and to emphasize the need for communities to pay for their services to support the operation and maintenance of WASH facilities. The event started with assessment and selection of faulty hand pumps within selected communities by WASH Entrepreneurs, the Natural Leaders Network and PACS.

WASH entrepreneurs repairing a broken hand pump in Nimba County.
In Nimba, three communities (Sarmieplay, Mahn-Display and Kialay) were selected for the exercise. Six broken hand pumps were assessed in Mahn-Display, one in Sarmieplay and one in Kialay. Based on the assessment, three broken hand pumps (one each in Sarmieplay, Mahn-Display and Kialay) were repaired by WASH entrepreneurs with repair costs paid by community members. Community members willingly contributed money to replace the damaged spare parts. This demonstrated how important drinking water is on their priority list according to some community dwellers interviewed during the event. In Mahn-Diaplay, community members purchased a U-Seal to replace the broken one and paid 250 LD for workmanship. In Sarmieplay, communities members purchased a U-Seal for 450 LD and paid 250 LD for workmanship and in Kialay, the community contributed 1,200 LD for two U-Seals and 400 LD for workmanship. Twenty people participated in the entire exercise ranging from selection, assessment, and repairs of broken hand pumps.

WASH entrepreneurs repairing a broken hand pump in Lofa County.
Similar activities were carried out in Lofa and Bong. In total, eight broken hand pumps (three in Nimba, three in Lofa and two in Bong) with similar problems were repaired by WASH entrepreneurs with full payment from the beneficiary communities.
An informational program involving WASH entrepreneurs, local leaders, community members and the PACS team was held just after the rehabilitation of selected hand pumps in each county. The aim of the session was to explain in detail the importance of WASH entrepreneurs and why it’s important that community members pay for their broken hand pumps. Township commissioners, statutory superintendents and other key stakeholders attended the event.
All in all, it was a great day to bring together the communities, WASH entrepreneurs and community leaders to raise awareness about the importance of operation and maintenance of water facilities by the community as a whole. Global Communities Celebrates World Water Day in Liberia