Bong County residents in Tinsue and Sankor Towns of Zota District are calling on the government of Liberia, Non-Governmental Organizations, Philanthropist or humanitarian groups to help construct a hand pump in the area.
Tinsue and Sankor have a population of about 1,800 residents, some of whom have vowed to migrate due to the lack of safe drinking water. Residents of the areas fetch water from a swamp that is being used as sand deposit, a situation that is said to have resulted to the outbreak of waterborne disease in the area.
Tinsue and Sankor Towns were established in 1978, but some residents say since their establishments, the Towns have never had a hand pump up to present. Water situation in the area is said to be very serious especially during the dry season.
Continuous drinking from the swamp due to the lack of safe drinking water is reportedly endangering the lives of the people especially infants.
Statistics from the Belefania Clinic (where residents go to seek medication) have shown that at least three children have lost their lives from the beginning of since October to present as a result of diarrhea and cholera outbreak from the drinking of water from the swamp.
Speaking in an interview with the NewDawn recently, the General Town Chief of Tinsue and Sankor Mr. Stephen Barclay expresses disappointment over the lack of safe drinking water in the area.
He attributes the lack of water to the alleged poor performances of county leaders. Chief Barclay says if leaders of the county were [concerned], they would have constructed a hand pump for them.
According to him, on so many occasions they have called on the national government to intervene, but their requests have allegedly fallen on deaf ears.
He regrets the situation, saying “I will have to leave this place and find another area with my family because nothing we can do about this water problem.”
“We have dug wells but can’t find a drop of water because of the location of the town, and the only alternative we have is to find a little one in the swamp,” Chief Barclay says.
He attributed the death of children and the continuous outbreak of cholera and diarrhea in the area to the problem.
Also speaking to this paper, Sankor Youth Leader Moses Kerkulah Tokpah believes that Bong County District #4 Rep. Lester Mulbah Paye would have gone to their aid [if he were concerned], claiming that they have on several occasion engaged the lawmaker.
But Rep. Paye describes the allegation as baseless and lacking any iota of truth. Rep. Paye says residents of the two towns have never asked him to construct pump for them, adding that there are plans underway to construct a hand pump in the town before February of next year.
But Rep. Paye’s statement was met mixed reactions on various community radio stations in Gbarnga, with some residents expressing doubts that he will construct a hand pump next year after working for nearly six years.
Rep. Paye was elected in 2011, but voters refused to reelect him in October this year due to his alleged failed performances.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Gbarnga–Edited by Winston W. Parley