As part of efforts to obtain accurate data on rural water situation in Liberia, the Ministry of Public Works and Partners providing intervention in the area of Water and Sanitation in rural communities recently embarked on a month long rural water point mapping survey across Bong County.
In an interview with this paper, the manager of the water point mapping project at the Ministry of Public Works, Joseph Collins indicated that findings from the survey would be processed to formulate a national water sector development plan which will form part of the country’s ten years development agenda.
He pointed out that apart from data in the possession of NGOs based on their individual intervention, there is no national data base to indicate the amount of water points; their functionality, life spent and those areas that still lacking behind in having access to safe drinking water and improved sanitary facilities.
Mr. Collins expressed optimism that the finalized data to be developed at the close of survey will help inform government and its partners where they should intervene when it comes to improving access to water especially in the rural communities. The Water Point Mapping Project manager also disclosed a digital water point atlas of all improved water points will be developed at the close of the nationwide survey.
The first phase of the survey targeting rural communities is expected to be completed by early April, while the second phase of the project will target peri-urban communities in the second half of this year.
In order to ensure successful implementation of the survey more than one hundred persons were recently trained nationwide. They were drawn from WASH Consortium which comprises organizations and institutions providing direct intervention to water and sanitation programs. This also includes 30 leader mappers from the Ministry of Public Works and LIGIS who are serving as team leaders.
Those involved in the survey were taught how to use the GPS device to obtain the water point location and information about the various types of water, functionality of pump facility and age. The World Bank is providing technical and financial support to the project under its Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).