DISTRICT TWO, Grand Bassa – Residents of William Potter Town and Gborpue Town in Marlor Clan, District 2 in Grand Bassa County are left with no alternative but to drink from contaminated creeks due to lack of safe drinking water in their area.
By Elton Tiah, with Journalists for Human Rights
The lack of safe drinking water facilities remains a major challenge for Liberians mainly in the rural parts of the country.
Hundreds of rural residents in William’s Potter Town and Gbarpue Town in Grand Bassa County still rely heavily on creek water both for cooking, drinking, washing and bathing.
A resident of of Gbarpue Town, Hannah Thompson says, they (townspeople) have been using the nearby creeks and streams for drinking, washing and cooking since the establishment of their towns.
She said “drinking creek water has gotten used to us because when I was a kid I drank this same water up to now my kids are also drinking this same water from the creek.”
Ms. Thompson mentioned that since the establishment of the Town several years ago, they have been yearning for at least a hand pump but they are yet to benefit from such essential need as a people.
Anthony Toe, a resident of William Potter Town said that their rights have been denied by their leaders, adding they’ve been deprived of safe drinking water.
“Sometimes I sit and cry when I see my children drinking the same water I drank when I was young. We’ve been crying on our leaders to help us but they’re yet to listen to us,” he said.
He further said, “It’s my prayer that humanitarian organizations will see this story to come to our aid because the lack safe drinking water is a major challenge for us”.
Toe stressed that pregnant women, babies and children are the ones mostly being infested by the creek water. He said that many times the babies and pregnant women suffer from diarrhea due to the contamination of the water.
He said, “The other time, my wife nearly died because she was pregnant and by that time the company was cleaning the road and so the whole water got dirty but we had no option but to drink the dirty water.”
According to him, their lives will always be at a health risk if nothing is done to help them get safe drinking water.
The residents’ complaints come in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak which is taking its toll on the already fragile health system. The area has no major health center. All of the cases are referred to Government Hospital in Buchanan, which is the county’s capital.
The Honorable Mary Karwor represents the people of District #2 at the National Legislature. According to her, she has played a major role in helping to ensure safe drinking water in her district by providing hand pumps.
The Government of Liberia is a signatory to the Declaration of Human Rights and other United Nations Declarations which ensure that all human beings have the right to life and dignity. Among these rights are the right to safe drinking water and the right to live in dignity in ones country of choice.
Improving water supply and sanitation (WSS) coverage has been one of the most important priorities of the Liberian Government.
This story was produced with support from Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), through its Mobilizing Media in the Fight Against COVID-19 in partnership with Front Page Africa and (name of the media outlet