The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Water Coordinator, Chris Holmes, is in the country to assess the effect of the agency’s water and development strategy in Liberia.
As part of the assessment Tuesday, Mr. Holmes accompanied by Deputy Agriculture Minister for Administration, Seklau Wiles, and visited a USAID-sponsored Food and Enterprise Program (FED) lowland rice site and two USAID-sponsored Improved Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (I-WASH) project sites in Bong County.
At the Arise and Shine Farmers Group lowland Rice Multiplication site in Totota, Bong County, the USAID Global Water Coordinator said the U.S. Government is proud to support the Government of Liberia’s efforts to increase agricultural productivity, which the farmers group is working to achieve with USAID FED assistance through improved water management and use in conjunction with advanced planting techniques, improved rice varieties and fertilizer application.
During a tour of the Moses Lon and Molouquellie communities in Jorquelleh districts Bong County, Mr. Holmes praised community members for working to ensure they had achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF) status and said this will enable residents, especially children, to be healthy. “When children are healthy, they can aspire to be what they want to be in the future”.
The two towns are among over 150 communities in Bong, Nimba and Lofa counties that have taken the responsibility for their own sanitation and hygiene through the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) process with guidance from the USAID-funded I-WASH project.
Earlier, in a meeting with members of the Natural Leaders’ Network /CLTS Champions and WASH Entrepreneurs, Deputy Minister Wiles thanked USAID and its partners for buttressing the Government’s development efforts and urged the WASH entrepreneurs to form cooperatives and legalize their status, saying that if their businesses are registered, the Liberian Government would be ready and willing to do business with them.
The WASH entrepreneurs are trained by the I-WASH project to repair hand pumps and manage small businesses supplying soap and Water Guard (point of use water chlorination) in rural communities.