Liberia: Millions Missing in Water Sector
13 May 2014
New Democrat (Monrovia)
Every 100 gallon pumps of water to Monrovia and its environs, 80 gallons are lost either through illegal connections or burst pipes, thus losing millions in the water sector, the Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation has alarmed.
Addressing a Senate public hearing yesterday, Dr. Charles Allen said out of a total expenditure of US$455,000 monthly, only US$392,000 was being generated monthly as revenues.
"Only 20 gallons out of every 100 gallons can be accounted for by the corporation," he said. Currently, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation pumps six million gallons of water daily to Monrovia and its environs. He told the Senate that the loss were huge and needed urgent attention by government.
"We must address this situation now with urgency," he noted. In a presentation, the LWSC boss noted that in order to address the current wave of situation, a total of US$500,000 was needed urgently to replace damaged pipes and create new water lines in the capital and other areas.
He named areas in Mamba Point, Randall Street, Benson Street, By-pass as those that are yet to be connected with safe drinking water owing to technical and financial constrains.
Commenting further on challenges confronting the institution, Allen said currently US$20,000 was being spent weekly to fuel machines that normally pumps water to the city; while another US$50,000.00 weekly on chemicals that purifies the water.
A total of US$450,000, according to him, is being collected monthly from costumers; but yet the amount was too little to cover expenses. "We spend more than we get each month," he maintained. Since the passage of this year's budget, the LWSC Managing Director noted that it was yet to receive its remaining US $800,000.00 from government for its operations.
He also noted that plans were on going to introduce pre-service system in the sector aimed at reducing risk and cost expenditure. Asked how much would be required to address the current growing challenges, he mentioned US$1.9million.
Commenting on other activities of the entity, Mr. Allen indicated that the LWSC has rehabilitated kiosks (hand pipes) in poor communities enhancing the provision of safe drinking water to residents and small businesses in Monrovia and some parts of the country.
"Currently, we are supplying water in Kakata where we have more than 350 customers presently," he said.
He also stated that the Government has provided funds for the rehabilitation of one hundred damaged kiosks, noting that the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation (UWSSP) project being funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) would enhance the expansion of Kakata, Zwedru, and other areas.
He called for more support from partners assuring members of the public of his corporation's commitment to ensure that they benefit from save drinking water.
Original article by Stephen Binda