Liberia

Rivercess Well Repair Program - Liberia

Rivercess Well Repair Program - Liberia

​Water Charity Joins Effort to Bring Clean Water to EVERY Person in Liberia By 2020!

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

This is a truly ambitious goal.  

Historically, there has never been a developing country that has had access to clean water for every citizen. There has never been a country where water borne illness has been eradicated.  We’re here to change that.Hut in Rivercess

Water Charity has joined forces with our partners at The Last Well, to do what has never been done before.  Along with a large group of our fellow colleagues in the hydrophilanthropic world, we have coordinated our efforts in this country of 4.7 million people so that every village, every hut and every person in the country gets served by the collective effort.  Each of our organizations are focusing on specific aspects of the overall problem. 

The entire country has been scouted by teams on motorbike.  They went to every village, hamlet, and collection of huts, and conducted their own "census" with a focus on water and health.  Based on the information gathered, data that wasn't even known to the government itself for the most part, it was possible to break the task down into do-able parts.  Done in this way, in an extremely efficient manner, the endeavor has become not just a possibility, but a certainty. 

This particular program within the broader initiative encompasses 27 well repairs to rehabilitate boreholes and handpumps that have been unusable due to wear and neglect.  It is just one of many avenues of aid by which the lofty goal for Liberia is being carried out.  The overall picture involves, not only well repairs, but new wells, filter distributions, and other efforts in tandem with the Liberian Ministry of Health!

As you can see in the map below, we have adopted the Rivercess County of Liberia and it's 8 districts of Beawor, Central Rivercess, Deodain, Fen River, Jo River, Norwein, Sam Gbalor, and Zarflahn.
Counties of Liberia & Groups Helping
​Rivercess has as its main economy rice and cassava plantations.  

Total Population: 115,000
Population Needing Access to Water: 66,348Liberia Child Last Well
Population to be served by projects: 66,348!
 

​Believe it or not, this effort is already well underway.  The December 2020 date is not "pie in the sky."  By the end of 2017, a large percentage of the country will have already been served.  Something like 1.5 million people!  

Naturally, different areas need different solutions, and what works in the city will not work in the bush.  Nevertheless, based on the historic census-style documenting of actual need... we know exactly what to do for every person in the country, regardless of how remote or inaccessible their location.

We are already underway doing our 27 well repairs in 6 of the 8 districts that comprise Rivercess County.  This is actually ALL of the wells that currently need repair!  When this is done, we will move on to another collection of projects for the area.

We are very excited about this program, as it is something new in this field, and one rarely sees that.  Traditional organizations, despite all the good they do, and have done, have not even attempted this kind of thing. Water Quality Liberia They wind up spending more than this entire effort will wind up costing, but never in an efficient and focused way because there have been certain obstacles in the past, and large organizations are not usually able to change gears quickly or embrace innovation.  The fact is, that no one, not even the Liberian government, actually knew how many people needed water!

The first thing that had to be done for this effort, was to go to every village and hut in the country and conduct a kind of water and health census.  This was painstakingly carried out by teams of dedicated guys on motorbikes, and this first-ever dataset has made this entire work possible.  Gratitude goes out to the vision and effort that went into that.  Exploring the remote regions of Liberia is no easy task.

Water Charity wants to particularly thank Todd Phillips, Ryan Tew, and their team of people at The Last Well for organizing the effort.  Todd, a pastor, decided to focus on Liberia, because he determined it to be the "hardest place," and, as we are all well aware, water to be the biggest issue.

LIBERIA
 Flag of Liberia

Over the years, this small, English speaking, West African nation has consistently ranked as the 2nd poorest nation on Earth.  It has often been known as the most corrupt as well, and was rated the most miserable place in the world according to the CIA World Fact Book’s Misery Index.

Enduring 14 years of brutal civil war truly decimated this country.  It was a haven for warlords, rogue generals, mercenary armies, conflict minerals and atrocities.  The conflict in Liberia, and across the border in Sierra Leone (another country with a similar story), gave rise to in "blood diamonds" and illegal timber imports. Liberian Coat of Arms

43.5% of Liberians were below the age of 15 in 2010​, and the average life expectancy is only 53.7 years.  During the conflict years, "child soldiers" were the norm, and more than 90% of the hospitals were destroyed.  Most of the indices by which one can rate the health of a nation had Liberia near the bottom.

Very sad for a nation founded as a hope and refuge for former slaves being repatriated back to Africa.  Many are surprised to learn that Liberia is actually Africa's first and oldest modern republic! 

The Republic of Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), who believed black people would face better chances for freedom in Africa.  The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847, but the U.S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until during the American Civil War on February 5, 1862. 

Somehow, Liberia retained its independence during the Scramble for Africa. Along with Ethiopia and The Dervish State (now Somalia), Liberia was one of only 3 countries not controlled by Europeans by the early 20th Century.

The main issue for Liberia, though, as it pertains to our work, is that when this project began very few people in the country had access to clean drinking water.  Many waterborne pathogens and diseases were widespread, and this took its tool generally on the children under 5. 

​27 Wells Currently Being Repaired and Rehabilitated

  • ​12 Wells in Central Rivercess
  • 2 Wells in DeodainKids want water
  • 4 Wells in Fen River
  • 2 Wells in Jo River
  • 3 Wells in Norwein
  • 4 Wells in Zarflahn

​Repairs are underway already.  At the time of this posting 2 repairs have already been completed!  Updates and conclusion reports will be posted below.

These are all fairly standard and straightforward well repairs.  They are being done with community training and involvement, so that these wells will be maintained; the lack of maintenance being a big reason why many of these wells need repair now. 

With these Afridev & India Mk II handpump type wells, repairs and upkeep are inevitable, but if maintenance is done regularly, a simple bushing replacement doesn't have to turn into a borehole repair.  Parts for these setups are easy to come by, and knowledgeable technicians are widespread.  For these reasons, this "old school" technology is superior to any "cutting edge" invention you may have heard of.  Plus, it is at least an order of magnitude more economical.

In addition to the basic thriftiness of repairing these old wells, due to the economy of scale and efficient planning, we are able to actually bring these wells back online for far cheaper than what one normally spends on such repairs.  Naturally, the costs are a fraction of that needed to drill new wells... or even completely replace hand pumps. 

All of this combines to make this effort one of the most economical, high "bang-for-the-buck" aid efforts you are likely to see.  If you would like to adopt a well or a district... or help fund the next round of this work in Liberia, use the Donate button below.  Note your desire in your donation notes, or feel free to contact us directly. The more money we can raise for this, the more people we can help!

This is truly an exciting effort, and we are proud to be playing our part.  Hopefully, this type of model can be replicated all over and we can put an end to waterborne illnesses in every country. 

Water is life.


Drinking clean water, Liberiakids getting water, liberia
Carrying water from unimproved sourceLiberia Rivercess ProgramGirls Carrying Water, Liberia

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BioSand Filter Training Program - Liberia

BioSand Filter Training Program - Liberia

New Groups Being Trained in Liberia to Make Filters!

 

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION working with Friendly Water for the World.

Location: Paynesville, Liberia

Problem Addressed

Flag of LiberiaThe first and second Liberian Civil Wars took place from 1989 to 2003, and destroyed much of this very small country. A combination of tribal hostilities, personal power grabbing, and interference from neighboring countries left some 250,000 dead, and a million displaced, and most of the water and power infrastructure destroyed. The country has been faced with trying to rebuild trust and infrastructure at the same time. It hasn’t been easy.

WHO reports that only one out of every four Liberians gets water from an “improved water source” – this doesn’t mean that the water is safe, only that it comes out of a pipe. In the countryside, the percentage would be far lower than that. It is estimated that as many as one out of every five Liberians die of a condition related to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation. Many rural and urban areas are almost entirely without toilets. Cholera and other waterborne illnesses are common. 80% of the population lives in poverty; unemployment is extremely high, and the cause of continued unrest.

Between 2014-2016, there were almost 11,000 cases of Ebola reported, and close to 5,000 deaths. However, it should be noted that many cases went unreported. At the start of the outbreak, there were only 50 doctors in a population of 4.3 million. Liberia was declared “Ebola free” in early 2016.  However, even at the height of the Ebola epidemic, far, far more people were dying from waterborne illnesses. And while much foreign assistance was received, little of it has gone to improving water and sanitation conditions.

Today, there are over 4.7 million people in Liberia, and WASH continues to be the biggest issue.  There is hope, though... as Water Charity is part of a multi-NGO effort to bring clean water access to every person in Liberia by December 2020.  See our Rivercess Well Repair Program - Liberia for details.

Project Description

Getting water from turbid source, LiberaiFour groups will be trained in the fabrication, distribution, installation, and maintenance of BioSand Water Filters, and in the teaching of sanitation and hygiene.

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a training program designed to enable participants to respond to potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. First developed by Quakers and others working in U.S. prisons in the 1970s, it has since proliferated around the world. The first training was organized in Liberia in 2010, and it has spread. Many of the participants are students, and are also seeking employment opportunities, and are excited about BioSand Filter projects.

Camp for Peace Liberia (CFP-Liberia) was established in 2005 by a group of visionary youths with the goal to transform the lives of young people through community-based education and awareness in response to the manifest need for sustainable peace and development. CFP-Liberia was incorporated in 2010 as a non-profit organization with an overarching goal to contribute to the development, empowerment and self-sustainability of young people in Liberia. It focuses on the promotion of the culture of nonviolence, reconciliation, promotion of education, and creating awareness of accountable governance and social transformation. It creates opportunities for young people to be equipped to deal with their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and to participate socially and economically in Liberia’s post-war development. CFP also provides micro-credit to enable youth to establish their own enterprises. To focus on its vision, mission and goal, CFP is supervised by a management team comprising of 75% young people including a vast number of volunteers who offer activities through a network of trainers.

AVP and CFP-Liberia will be trained as a single team.

RICCE – The Rural Integrated Center for Community Empowerment (RICCE) empowers rural communities to participate in decision-making in Liberia, with emphasis on issues that impact on their lives and threaten community peace and security. To do this, RICCE facilitates community based peacebuilding and conflict resolution processes, and works for the promotion of biodiversity and transparency in natural resource management. RICCE was established by development specialists, engineers, health professionals, grassroots activists and professors at the University of Liberia who were alarmed by the conditions of rural residents in 2005. At the time it was observed that the rural people were neglected when it came to political decision-making, economic opportunities, better schools, hospitals and basic protection of fundamental human rights. These conditions still exist today, contributing to conflict in Liberia. RICEE is also involved in advocating for women's rights, promoting female empowerment through programs that allow them to participate in leadership and decision-making processes.

Peaceful Lutheran Church in Paynesvile, on the outskirts of Monrovia, will be hosting the training, and will be sending a team to be trained, with a workshop to be set up there.

Woman with pail of water, LiberiaRescue Women Liberia is a non-governmental organization established in 2015 by group of gender activists. The organization is involved in promoting basic human rights of women including access to justice, sexual and reproductive health, combating gender-based violence, and promotion of clean water and sanitation. Currently they do not have funding, but have been involved with voluntary community service in health education in communities and schools, awareness on gender based violence in and around Montserrado County.

Project Impact

The project is likely to have considerable impact. Fifty people will be trained, and four ongoing workshops set up and equipped. Health and employment will immediately improve among the 50 families. Taken together, the four groups have substantial contacts with NGOs throughout Liberia, with demand for Filters likely to be high among their constituents. The four groups will also have considerable contact with small community-based organizations throughout the country.

There will be a significant reduction in waterborne illnesses, increased employment, and new small business opportunities generated. The four groups, taken together, should be able to create significant synergies in the development sector.

Immediate Beneficiaries:

-          50 Individuals trained
-          200 members of their families

Community Beneficiaries (in first two years):

-          Four groups build and distribute 500 BioSand Filters each in first two years = 2,000 Filters
-          Each Filter serves on average 10 people – 20,000 people served
-          50 Filters go schools and orphanages – 3,500 children served

Future Beneficiaries:Bio Sand Filter System

-          Programs expand and require more than two molds each
-          Large orders likely to be received from other NGOs working in Liberia

Impacts:

-          Waterborne illnesses curtailed
-          Health improved
-          Child morbidity and mortality reduced
-          Medical/pharmaceutical expenses curtailed
-          School attendance increases
-          Community productivity enhanced


Person Directing
The training will be directed by Friendly Water for the World Technical Advisor Wayne Medrud, with assistance from Alisa and Ken Malloch, both of whom has significant experience with missions in sub-Saharan Africa. Philip Quoqui, Director of AVP in Liberia, will serve as interim country coordinator.

Monitoring 

Each group will have a trained monitor to visit homes post-installation and keep records. A first report from each group will be due 90 days after they start operations. Following the reports, each group will meet to adjust their business plans as appropriate. The coordinator will keep track of the activities of the four groups.

Comments:

The joint training and operation of these four groups together create an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of the long-suffering people of Liberia.

Liberia Training Budget Breakdown

Description Amount raised by Water Charity Quantity Cost per Item  Funders Budget Justification:
Liberia Project -  4 groups          
Steel Molds  $4,800.00 8 $600.00 Water Charity Each mold makes one filter/day.* Equip all four groups
Toolkits $1,900.00 4 $450.00 Water Charity Needed for Filter Fabrication*
Starter Materials $1,000.00 4 $250.00 Water Charity Sand,gravel,cement,tubing for first 20-25 Filters
Printing and Copying Materials $800.00 4 $200.00 Water Charity  
Travel for Trainers - Wayne $1,800.00 1 $1,800.00 Water Charity  
Honorarium - Wayne $400.00 1 $400.00 Water Charity **
Lunch/Tea for Trainees   50 $25.00 Local Community Lunch and Tea for five days**
Training Space   1 $200.00 Paynesville Church **
Trainers - Accommodation/Food $1,800.00 3 $600.00 Water Charity  
Internal Transportation $400.00 1 $400.00 Water Charity  
           
(Two trainers - Alisa and Ken Malloch - are paying their own transportation)        

*Molds and Toolkits are provided on long-term loan

**Local community contributions are required. 

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor. Please donate to Water Charity to allow us to expand our efforts in Liberia.

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Gokai Well and Bathroom Project - Liberia

Gokai Well and Bathroom Project - Liberia

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
The project is being implemented in association with Women’s Campaign International.

Location
Gokai, Bong County, Liberia

Community Description
Gokai is located in Suakoko District in the north of Bong County. The community is accessible by road and largely depends on farming for its economy. The community does not have a health clinic or any medical personnel, but there is a privately-run drug store.

Gokai was severely affected by the recent Liberian Civil War and Ebola epidemic, during which 12 people in the community died. The village is divided into four distinct quarters, and the total population is approximately 1,800 people.Gokai Well and Bathroom Program - Liberia
Problem Addressed

Gokai was identified and selected for its high level of need. While there is currently a hand pump in the upper part of the community, it is not accessible to the entire population. There is also no public latrine and many in the community do not have their own latrines, forcing them to defecate in the area surrounding the village

Project Description
This project is to install a hand pump well, and a public latrine.

The hand pump well will be located at the center of the village by the town hall, underneath a coconut tree. This location was chosen in consultation with village leaders because it is the area of the highest population in the community and an area with better sanitation than the rest of the town. This will allow the majority of the community to use the well without traveling a great distance.

The depth of the well is estimated to be at least 40 feet. The Afridev hand pump will be utilized. It is widely used throughout Liberia and is a relatively simple pump, which means that repair parts will be purchased without problem and that it will be easily maintained.

The hand pump well will be fitted with a locking mechanism that will be controlled by the water committee. This will allow the community to control when the well will be in operation, preventing water from being wasted.

The building for the latrine will be located on the edge of town. It will have a 2’ foundation beneath the surface and will sit 1’1” above the ground to prevent flooding during the rainy season. There will be breeze/honeycomb blocks on either side of the building to allow for increased ventilation and light. The building will be separated down the middle by a wall to separate the men’s and women’s sides.

On each side will be located a sink area with a bucket for washing. Adjacent to this will be two toilet stalls and then a bathing stall. Each will have locking doors. The toilets will be squat toilets that will use water to flush the waste down to the septic tank. All water for flushing toilets, the bathing area, and the sink will be carried in buckets from the hand pump well. A three-chamber septic tank will also be constructed.

Community education trainings on sanitation will be conducted by an experienced contract educator, Vision Collaborator. Before any construction begins, Vision Collaborator will hold training sessions with the identified laborers in the community. This will ensure that laborers hired for the project have the knowledge and skills needed to maintain the hand pump well and latrine once the projects are complete.

Gokai Well and Bathroom Program - LiberiaProject Impact
1,800 people who live in the community, consisting of 800 women, 600 children, 325 men, and 75 elderly, will benefit from the project.

Project Administration
This project is being implemented under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Graham Button, who serves as Program Manager at Women's Campaign International.

Monitoring and Maintenance
Key community leaders have been engaged in the project and will be involved in supporting community buy-in to the project. They have identified key community members who will serve on a water committee and will be responsible for the long-term upkeep and maintenance of the well and latrine.

Comments
The hand pump well will give the entire community a place in the center of the village to get clean water for drinking, washing, cooking, and bathing. It will improve the health of the community and reduce the burden that falls on women and youth to retrieve water.

The latrine complex will give members of the community a safe place to use the bathroom and wash, thus improving the health and hygiene of the community.

This project is part of our Western Africa Water & Sanitation Program.

This project has been fully funded by an anonymous donor.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE

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KRTTI Water Project - Liberia

Pot Washing - LiberiaLocation
Kakata City, Margibi County, Liberia

Community Description
Liberia is located on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, and the Atlantic Ocean. Kakata is the capital of Margibi County.

Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI) is a teacher training institute with residential facilities for both trainers and trainees. The trainees pay no tuition and are given housing and three meals a day as incentive to become teachers in the rural areas. There 362 people who eat all their meals in the cafeteria, including 13 women on the kitchen staff, 270 trainees, 42 trainers and approximately 50 staff.

Cesspit - LiberiaThe cafeteria was structurally rebuilt after the war, but there is no water delivery system, except for a temporary connection to a hose. There exists an open cesspit which creates an extremely unsanitary condition.

Project Description
This project is to provide a permanent water supply to the fixtures in the building, including the sink and the dish washing station. In addition, the open cesspit will be enclosed.

Project funds will be used to purchase the materials, including faucets, valves, brackets, and PVC pipe and connectors.

Water Distribution - LiberiaOnce the sink is available for hand washing, the school nurse will talk to the kitchen staff about the importance of cleanliness and the dietitian/kitchen manager will do follow-up discussions and monitor compliance.

Project Impact
362 people will directly benefit from this project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Denise Hilliard

Comments
This is a high-impact and low-cost project that will provide immediate benefit, in terms of improvements in health and sanitation, to a large number of people. A water supply is being connected to the cafeteria, and open sewage is being contained.

Dollar Amount of Project
$315.00

Donations Collected to Date
$315.00

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has now been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Denise Hilliard of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Denise and/or those of her counterpart PCVs in Liberia.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

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