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Liberia’s Water and Sewage Corporation Managing Director Mr. Hun-Bu Tulay says two of the corporation’s water transmission pipelines in Johnsonville and Caldwell, Montserrado County have outlived their designed capacity lifespan and need replacement.

Making a presentation Tuesday, March 1 on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene or WASH sector in the C.Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tulay said one of the challenges the LWSC is faced with is the two transmission pipelines which were constructed in the 1960s, and have become obsolete.

Chairing a roundtable attended by donors, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said, “we” realize that there has been relative neglect of the WASH Sector, suggesting that tocorrect past neglect, more resources should be channeled into the sector so that a larger number of the population has access to clean pipe borne water and sanitation.

“We think this is an important element if we are indeed going to ensure that we have the capacity to respond and prevent any chances of an infectious disease hitting us again,” she said. The President said the meeting should focus on fragmentation and governance structure in the delivery of water and how many Liberians will be served, including rural residents, and not the money issue.

Earlier, in his presentation, LWSC boss Tulay said donors and government’s intervention has raised the level of water production from 0.7 to 4 million gallons for to 1.3 million population in Monrovia where the demandis now 18 million gallons.

He said if rehabilitation of the water plant is done to its prewar standard, it would only be able to meet 80 percent of the population of Monrovia; and 50 percent of the population would get direct connection.

Mr. Tulay stressed the need to reconstruct pipe network in certain parts of the city, and the World Bank is doing the first 80 percent of the pipeline, extending it to certain areas.

As far back as 1985, he said it was proposed that the Monrovia 16-inch pipeline be replaced by a 24-inch pipeline, and if that were to be done today, it would cost around $12m.

He has additionally suggested that the remaining 20 percent especially in central Monrovia needs to be redone.

LWSC board chair Kimmie Weeks, said challenges in the water sector are many, saying the entity shares President Sirleaf’s view that water is a priority issue.

Mr. Weeks cited the issue of segmentation of the sector, saying right now water is under so many ministries and agencies as LWSC sometimes get reminded of restrictions by another agency each time it wants to do something.-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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