Liberia News: Water Aid Response to Article

The Manager Editor

New Republic Newspaper

Monrovia, Liberia

March 25, 2025

Dear Mr. Editor:

Ref: Clarity to the New Republic Newspaper Report on Malfunctioning of Hand Pumps in Todee District

We read with dismay a recent article published in the New Republic Newspaper titled “Todee Residents Return to Creeks Water for Drinking” on March 20, 2024, regarding concerns raised by some individuals said to be residents about the functionality of hand pumps rehabilitated by WaterAid-Liberia in Nyen #2 School, in Billy Town, and constructed in Kerkulah Wille Community, within Todee District, Montserrado County. We are concerned about why the paper never contacted WaterAid or authorities in the communities, as well as the district, up till now. This raises questions about the accuracy of the report. We therefore avail ourselves of this opportunity to correct the story, trusting that you will publish our clarification as a matter of right.

The article portrays an inaccurate and unbalanced representation of WaterAid’s approach to providing clean water to communities. First and foremost, the publication failed to provide a balanced perspective by neglecting to include input or quotes from WaterAid or authority of the towns in question or district.

This omission has led to a misleading portrayal of our organization’s efforts and achievements in providing safe drinking water to communities in Todee District, Montserrado County.

Based on these, we like to provide the below clarification:

  1. WaterAid follows rigorous standards and procedures for water point construction and maintenance.
  2. Before initiating any construction, WaterAid collaborates closely with relevant ministries and county and district authorities before engaging at community entry phase to assess needs and rights of communities, determine intervention approach, ensure proper planning and obtain necessary approvals from the relevant government entity, i.e. the WASH Commission, to commence intervention. Our team of qualified technicians conducts regular monitoring visits in partnership with the Ministry of Health (Montserrado County Health Team), the Ministry of Public Works, and the WASH Commission to certify adherence to established standards and requirements.
  3. At WaterAid, we prioritize the health and well-being of all communities and people we work with and for. We employ certified Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) technicians and adhere to strict quality control measures, set by the Government of Liberia, and international best protocols throughout the entire process of constructing water points. Furthermore, we ensure that only high-quality materials, available on the Liberian market are used in the construction of water points to guarantee their durability and longevity. Additionally, rigorous testing is conducted to ensure that the water quality meets recommended standards before the water points are handed over to the communities in the presence of the relevant authorities.
  4. It is important to note that upon completion, WaterAid transfers total ownership and responsibilities for the maintenance of the water points to the communities and their leadership themselves, specifically empowering Community WASH Committees with skills and tools to manage the facilities given that we will not always be around. These committees are trained and equipped to conduct minor repairs and oversee the ongoing operations and maintenance of the water points. They are additionally trained in financial management. Community members contribute to the sustainability of these facilities through their active involvement and financial contributions called “user fees” – used to cater to major repairs and purchase of spare parts of the facilities.
  5. We affirm that the above standards, procedures and approaches were fully adhered to in the Todee District projects.

Considering the inaccuracies in the news article, we respectfully request a correction to the article to ensure that readers receive accurate information about WaterAid’s work.

We are always willing  and open to provide additional information or clarify any further questions, or coordinate field visitations, to shed further light on our work in Liberia.

WaterAid is one of the biggest WASH institutions leading national advocacy together with partners for improved policy, national funding, and sector coordination while building institutions for improved water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

Since 2009, we have worked with local and international partners including the Ministries of Health and Public Works, as well as the National WASH Commission of Liberia, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, and the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation.

We reiterate our commitment in our recently launched new Country Program Strategy to contribute to universal coverage of inclusive, safe, affordable, sustainable and climate resilient WASH services in Liberia by 2028.

 Our ambition for Liberia by 2028 is to make sure that 700,000 more people are reached with sustainable, safe and inclusive WASH, inclusive of universal coverage in Todee District, Montserrado County. Besides, we will ensure public health outcomes in Liberia are improved through better integration of WASH in the national health system; and mobilize $13 million annually for WASH across the country.

We are committed to a world where everyone, everywhere is reached with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

Kind regards,

Chuchu Selma

Country Director

WaterAid Liberia

More about

WaterAid, is the largest not-for-profit global organization focused exclusively on ensuring equitable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education for the world’s poorest communities, since 1981.

 

To date, we have reached 27 million people with clean water and 27 million people with improved sanitation. Our approach combines service delivery and advocacy. We will work with the utmost determination, passion and focus to reach everyone, everywhere.

Follow WaterAid: Clean water charity. Donate now to clean water projects, founded 1981. | WaterAid America

WaterAid Liberia Country Programme Brief

WaterAid Liberia Country Program Strategy – 2023-28

1 Comment
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