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Editorial: When Shall We Have Safe Drinking Water?

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Water is one of the essentials of life, but in Liberia, it appears as if safe-drinking water has become a luxury, and is rapidly getting beyond the reach of the country’s less privilege majority, leaving behind unimaginable attending consequences.

In the past six years, the provision of safe-drinking water by the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration has largely remained a publicity stunt than a reality. And the scarcity of the basic social service has paradoxically boom the trade of bottled mineral water in most parts of Liberia.

So what supposed to be one of the basic social services from government has become a dog fight to attain; that is, if you are lucky enough by any means to come across a hand pump in a community.

The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, the state institution responsible to provide pipe borne water to Monrovia and its environs recently announced to the public that the LWSC lacks the capacity to adequately provide water to the entire capital, pointing to  breakdown of equipment and purification substances.   

Its Managing Director Nortu Jappah, said facilities of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation were constructed to cater for about 500,000 residents, but following the 15-year civil crisis, Monrovia currently hosts about 1.5 million people or more, which has overwhelmed the corporation’s capacity to adequately serve the public.

This may be a fine excuse, but the truth of the matter is something should and must be done to finding a remedy because we cannot continue as a nation in this 21st century to live in the past amidst  the abundance of natural resources God has blessed us with, which should be utilized prudently to better the standard of life of the citizenry.

How could we have continued in such sheer neglect or apparent wrong priority in our nation at this time that has left most public institutions, including government ministries and agencies without running water despite rapid budgetary increase in the last six years? This is totally unacceptable!

Last week, the LWSC boss Jappah announced that management has purchased three diesel pumps, and one engine along with series of spare parts at a total cost of US$250,000 to boost the capacity of the corporation. He promised that with the subsequent installation of the pumps and spare parts, management looks forward to increasing supply from 4.5 to 10.5 million gallons per day.

We hope this should not be another publicity stunt, because previous LWSC administrations had assured and re-assured the public of exerting effort to provide the badly needed service, but at the end of the day, the story is as usual, round peg in square hole.

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