The International Committee of the Red Cross or ICRC has donated two state-of-the -art trucks to the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation and chemicals needed for the desludging of liquid waste from Ebola Treatment Units or ETUs.
In a press release issued in Monrovia last week, the ICRC recounted that since the beginning of 2015, it has been providing the LWSC technical support for the safe disposal of contaminated sewage from ETUs in Monrovia.
The release said that 17 LWSC staff members have been trained by the ICRC on infection, prevention and control measures as well as on the usage of the trucks.
Following strict safety protocols and under the supervision of ICRC experts, the LWSC crew has recently completed the removal of 270 cubic meters of Ebola-contaminated waste from four ETUs in the capital.
“We have put in place a system, which ensures that all the Ebola liquid waste is treated safely,” the ICRC team leader for this project, Samuel Levy explained.
The ICRC said the LWSC teams were trained on the usage of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE, and that they also went through several training sessions on the usage of the trucks before launching the operations.
“The desludging process involves the collection and removal of liquid waste from septic tanks located at the ETUs”, the ICRC explains, and added that the sewage is then transported by truck and discharged at the Fiamah treatment plant in Monrovia.
“The site, chosen by LWSC, is the only one in the country capable of safely storing and handling liquid Ebola waste,” the ICRC says. The two trucks will continue to be used for the desludging of ETUs.
LWSC Deputy Managing Director, Frankie Cassell, said: We will follow the same guidelines and protocols that have been implemented by the ICRC.”
He said they will also continue working with the LWSC crew, as he thanked the ICRC as well as all other partners for their assistance and the development of the technical capacities of LWSC staff.
According to the release, the desludging of ETUs is a joint project led by LWSC in which a number of local and international partners cooperate, including the Ministry of Health, Monrovia City Corporation, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the International Rescue Committee and the ICRC.