Cities Alliance hands over infrastructure projects to communities in Greater Monrovia
Monrovia – The Cities Alliance Liberia Country Programme has successfully handed over community driven infrastructure upgrading projects, implemented under its Community Upgrading Fund (CUF), to residents of informal settlements across Greater Monrovia.
Key figures – Over the last two years a number of facilities were built including: 104 water kiosks, 6 toilet and shower facilities, 3 school compounds, as well as fence walls around two community sport fields and a school. 100 water points and 4 water storage towers were also rehabilitated. The sanitation facilities are equipped with bio-filtration systems
The successful handover took place during 2-day dedication ceremonies held in Gbengbar Town and Pipeline Community School in Paynesville City on 23 November, and in Point Four Community – New Kru Town and Slipway Stadium, Slipway Community in Monrovia on 25 November.
The primary objective of the Community Upgrading Fund is to improve the access of the urban poor to basic social and physical infrastructure required to improve social cohesion, economic productivity, and environmental health. The initiative was funded by Comic Relief, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), WaterAid Liberia and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
The CUF projects were identified through community settlement forums. These are platforms for community members to identify and prioritize their needs in a participatory approach. A standing steering committee stakeholder (formed by the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Public Works, Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, Monrovia and Paynesville City Corporations, and the Environmental Protection Agency), assessed the feasibility of the projects against a defined range of criteria and ensuring that social and environmental safeguards were in place before approval by the CUF board. Project submissions were made to Cities Alliance through the community engagement partner YMCA.
“The projects are intended to improve the lives of residents of Paynesville including the Gbengbar Town. I express my gratitude to Cities Alliance and its partners for the projects that were meant to upgrade communities in the Paynesville Area”, said Ms. Pam Belcher-Taylor, Mayor of Paynesville City, during the dedication ceremony. She urged the citizens to maintain and take ownership of the projects as they were meant to serve their community in the long term.
Speaking at one of the events, Honorable Paulita C.C. Wie, Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Chair of the CUF board, appreciated that the people of Greater Monrovia could benefit from such projects. She commended the government and partners for the efforts exerted to see the fulfilment of the projects and successful handover to the intended beneficiaries.
The hand over ceremonies were attended by local government officials from Monrovia and Paynesville city corporations, representatives from partner organizations such as YMCA and FOLUPS, as well civil society and community representatives.
At the official dedication of Slipway Community, Mr. Abraham Jusu Ganeothe, Deputy Mayor of Monrovia appreciated the intensive work undertaken by Cities Alliance and pledged the city’s support to monitor the use and management of the new facilities.
The head of the Council of Commissioners, Honorable Mensah Suku, Commissioner of Congo township lauded government and partners for dedicating the projects and expressed gratitude to the community for providing land on which the projects were constructed. He also called on the residents to “maintain the facilities as they were meant to serve them long after the donors are gone”.
Mr. Francisco Juarez, Cities Alliance Liberia Country Manager, provided an overview of the projects undertaken under the CUF initiative and acknowledged the handover to the residents as a ‘crucial milestone’ of the work done by the organization and its partners over the last few years. “These projects were implemented in response to needs and priorities identified by the residents themselves. Local communities are key partners in the development of city plans and their voice should always be considered if we are to build inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities”, he concluded.
About Cities Alliance
Cities Alliance is the global partnership for urban poverty reduction promoting and strengthening the role of cities in sustainable development. Cities Alliance offers support to cities and development partnerships to foster effective local government, promoting an active citizenship and encouraging pro-poor public and private investment. Based in Brussels, Belgium, the Cities Alliance is hosted by UNOPS. Cities Alliance Country Programmes are long-term initiatives tailored to a local context, delivered through financing key urban projects to achieve development impact at scale. The country programmes typically include activities at community, local and national levels.