Liberia: Japanese Embassy Inspects Wash Facilities Implemented By Surido In Bong County

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MONROVIA — The Sustainable Urban and Rural Integrated Development Organization (SURIDO) with funding from the Government and People of Japan has completed and turned over modern WASH facilities to the Japanese government to be used by school-going children and administrators of four Primary and Secondary institutions in Central-Liberia.

The facilities which include modern latrines, Hand-washing pumps and borehole hand-pumps were presented to four institutions to include Life Water Foundation Elementary and Junior High School, Harry Hill, around the Phebe Hospital, Suakoko District, G.W. Gibson Elementary, Junior and Senior High School in Sinyea, Suakoko District, Bethel Institute, Cotton-Tree Community, Gbarnga City and the Philadelphia Elementary and Junior High School also in Gbarnga, City, Bong County.

Speaking when he presented to the Japanese government through its Project Manager at the Embassy with Residence in Accra, Ghana, Miss Ueno Hidemi expressed delight that the funding provided by the government of Japan intended to buttress the Liberian government‘s effort to ensure dignity for school-going kids and their teachers was expended  for the intended purpose. According to the project Manager at the Japanese Embassy, the local NGO, SURIDO, has proven to be a credible institution in Liberia based on its excellent performance to successfully implement the WASH projects and turned over to be used by beneficiaries especially during this critical time of the Corona virus pandemic around the World.

“I am very impressed about the implementation of the projects by SURIDO and I hope you as beneficiaries will manage them very well so as to serve the intended purpose for which these facilities were constructed”, Miss Hidemi told the gathering of jubilant young students and instructors in Suakoko District as she toured the well- decorated facilities.

Miss Ueno Hidemi who is a current member of Ambassador HIMENO Tsutomu’s high level Delegation to Liberia said the projects being  implemented by SURIDO are among several projects  around the Country being funded by the Government and People of Japan through its Embassy accredited to Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

She told the gathering that even-though she had not requested to dedicate the completed projects by SURIDO, she will work with the office of Ambassador HIMENO Tsutomu to ensure that he Madam Ueno Hidemi officially dedicates the completed projects during his next visit to Liberia adding, “SURIDO has made my work very easy and simple as project Manager of the Japanese Embassy based on the effectiveness of the Organization to respond to the needs of Donor partners”, she stressed.

Madam Ueno Hidemi is quoted as saying that “although I am not the official spokesperson of the Japanese Embassy in Liberia but with the level of dedicated projects implementation by SURIDO, I will relay the information to the Ambassador and I can assure you that I will bring him here to officially dedicate these wonderful projects by our implementing partner SURIDO during his next visit to the Country,”.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of Sustainable Urban and Rural Integrated Development Organization (SURIDO), Mr. Paul C. Jaiblai described integrity, commitment, dedication and hard work as key hallmarks of the institution since its establishment   in 2013, adding that”SURIDO has never gone out of projects since its formation as a result of the seriousness and importance it attached to its works across the Country.

According to Mr. Paul C. Jaiblai, Liberians are smart people who can perform excellently as compared to individuals or professionals of other Countries but noted that they have been down-played in their owned society.

Mr. Paul C. Jaiblai, is a former employee of OXFAM-GB who has worked both as national and international staff of OXFAM-GB in various countries around the World, noting that “the knowledge acquired from our experiences while working in other Countries will be used to improve the livelihoods of residents and citizens of our local communities. Mr. Jaiblai told the FrontPage Africa news outlet following the tour of the facilities by the Japanese Embassy Project Manager that the commendations and praises given him by the Japanese Embassy should go towards the dedicated officials of SURIDO who according to him, worked sleepless days and nights to ensure that projects being implemented are in accordance with the terms and agreements signed with the various partners of the organization.

Mr. Jaiblai told reporters in Gbarnga City, Bong County on Thursday, March 4, 2021 during the touring of the completed  projects that SURIDO with its  committed and dedicated Professionals should be given the opportunities to serve their Country in various capacities in the private sector, as he  urged other local NGOs to do away with misappropriating and misapplying Donors’ funding for selfish interest, as doing so will hinder others from acquiring grants from International partners to implement projects on their behalf, adding that “local implementing Partners or NGOs must first be  accountable to themselves, the Organization as well as the Partner that is providing the funding”.

Profile of SURIDO;

The Sustainable Urban and Rural Integrated Development Organization (SURIDO), was founded  by some trained WASH personnel who are willing and prepared to contribute to national development agenda through Agriculture, Water supply, Sanitation, Hygiene and Nutrition programs in both urban and rural communities. In 2010, the idea of SURIDO came about when these WASH and Agriculture professionals sat and brainstormed on how they as professionals could come together as a team to assist the poverty stricken population in their areas of expertise.

Following intense brainstorming and discussions in 2013, the Organization (SURIDO) was registered, incorporated and accredited in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Liberia as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). The focus of the organization as summarized above has been broadened to include Agriculture, Water supply, Sanitation, Hygiene (water treatment and analysis), Health, Food and Nutrition and Environmental conservation and Climate Change Adaptation.

SURIDO is dedicated to the following objectives:

1. To operate principally as a professional non-profit service enterprise to promote and facilitate rural and urban development in Water, Sanitation, Agriculture, Health and Hygiene, Food and Nutrition, Environmental conservation and Climate change Adaptation.

2. To liaise with other non-governmental organizations and national institutions through coordination, cooperation and collaboration of efforts to ensure the smooth operations of community development initiatives in both urban and rural communities.

3. To promote sustainable living at the sub-national level and empower communities for access to and use of best practice in natural resources.

The professionals  who organized SURIDO have over twenty years of working experience in their respective professions, working with Government and reputable Non-governmental organizations such as Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, Ministry of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency as governmental institutions and UNICEF ,OXFAM-GB, Tear Fund, Internal Rescue Committee, ZOA, UNDP, United Nation Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Danish Refugee Council ( DRC), John Snow International (JSI) and Lutheran World Service as non-governmental organizations. Two of SURIDO’s staffs are former employees of the UNICEF WASH UNIT work as WASH Specialist and WASH Consultant hence understands UN system project implementation strategies.

As an added value to SURIDO, the Executive Director of SURIDO is a former employee of OXFAMGB who has worked both as national and international staff of OXFAMGB in various countries.

PROJECTS SURIDO HAVE IMPLEMENTED

Since the formation of SURIDO,  she has engaged in project implementation with various organizations. In November 2013, SURIDO and UNDP signed a MOU to implement a project title, Agriculture adapted to climate change for one year. This project successfully ended on October 31st 2014 in three communities in Dewoin and Klay Districts, Bomi County.

The objective was to train communities to engage in rice and vegetables production in the lowland that enable them to have balance diet and income generation from the sales of surplus of their farm products. SURIDO organized youth and interested adult in the project.

SURIDO conducted farmers field school training and organized and trained farm manager drown from the farming groups.

In 2013, SURIDO and GNO (German Nation Office) signed an agreement to implement Agriculture adapted to climate change project in four districts in Bomi County for forty Communities.

In this project, SURIDO organized Gender sensitive farmers, comprising mostly of youth and influential adults in the communities. To date, these farming groups continue to praise SURIDO for her level of engagement with the community members and their way of work.

SURIDO also entered into a WASH contract with Save the children Liberia in March 2013 to construct one new hand dug well in Kakata, Margibi County fitted with Afridev hand pump and conducted repairs and rehabilitations on several hand pumps in nine communities in Todee district, Montserrado County.

SURIDO has also concluded a project with PCI in Nimba County to implement a wash in school project by constructing five structures of four cubicles school latrines at five schools in Saclepea and Saniquelli Mahn district in Nimba County. This project was implemented successfully.

This project started in November 2013 and ended in October 2014. SURIDO has implemented WASH project constructed wells, and trained Hand pump mechanics for Save The Children Liberia in Kakata, Magibi County.(See pictures  of a well under construction on the Save The Children project)  This contract ended March 2014, after SURIDO have trained the hand pump mechanics and WASH Committee members comprising mostly of youths in the communities for maintenance and care of the facilities installed for sustainability. At the turn-over ceremony, SURIDO provided hand pump maintenance tools.

In response to the Ebola emergency, SURIDO signed a contract with Save the Children Liberia to construct nine (9) hand washing facilities at nine (9) schools. This project ended successfully.

In October 23, 2015- April 2016, SURIDO in partnership with Unicef Concluded a comprehensive WASH IN SHOOL Project in Eighteen Schools in River Gee county.

In this project, SURIDO was able to trained twenty five member’s health club for each of the eighteen schools.

The responsibilities of the health club are: To ensure that schools environment are kept clean, Soap and water are available at hand washing stations, Latrines facilities are cleaned and users friendly mainly for girls. SURIDO distributed environmental tools to facilitate these activities to the eighteen health clubs of the eighteen schools.

SURIDO signed a Community WASH project (PCA) in July 2016 in partnership with UNICEF Liberia. The purpose of this contract was to implement a Community WASH Project to implementing thirty eight (38) communities Community Led-Total Sanitation (CLTS)to make community open defecation free ( ODF) by constructing own latrines per household, training of WASH committee to manage WASH facilities, construction of hand dug wells and borehole, established local hand pumps spare parts depots for easy access to spare parts and train  Natural Leaders to be able to lead communities to improved sanitation. These objectives were met by the end of the project in April 2017.

Due to the successful implementation of the project, UNICEF Liberia was able to amend the Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between SURIDO and UNICEF Liberia for additional Six (6) months commencing July to December, 2017.Which is ongoing.

Base on the experience, commitment and dedication of SURIDO in the area of WASH, SURIDO competed with various organizations in a competitive bidding process for a WASH in School project for 120 schools in five (5) counties in Liberia. The counties are: Montserrado, Cape Mount, Margibi, Bong and Lofa. After careful analysis of the bidding process by UNICEF technical team, SURIDO was selected to work in 25 schools in Gbarnga district, Bong County for the period of 10 months; commencing February to December 2017. This pre-finance project is nearing completion.

SURIDO in Partnership with Oxfam now operate a PAT-301 drilling rig with compressor in Gbarnga Bong County to construct boreholes allocated in this project. SURIDO have a dedicated drilling team that can work for private of public institutions that is in need of borehole construction through this partnership with Oxfam

Drilling Projects:

SURIDO in 2016 signed an MOU with Oxfam GB Liberia as a mechanical drilling partner. In this partnership, SURIDO was given a PAT-301 TP and a compressor with all drilling accessories to manage. Through this MOU, SURIDO had drilled six (6) boreholes for Oxfam in Nyein, Goba Town, Smell No Taste, Christian Foundation, Madison Woart Acadamy and Banjur Public School. In the WinS project in Bong County with USAID, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, SURIDO successfully constructed six (6) boreholes. They are; DolokenGboveh, Community House Public School, Beamah Public School, Jameayea, Demita Public School and T. Gray Methodist High School. All these boreholes were successful and are still functional right now. In February, 2019, SURIDO signed a grant agreement with the Japanese Embassy to implement a Water and Sanitation project in 4 schools in Suakoko Bong County. The project ended successfully with the 4 schools having increased access to sustainable water supply (borehole) and modern pour flush sanitation facilities with group hand washing. The commissioning ceremony had been delay due to lock down which restricted travel of embassy staffs for the commissioning ceremony. Please see completed photos of facilities constructed under this project. SURIDO has her head office in the New Georgia Housing Estate, near the Cellcom communication tower in Gardnerville, Monrovia, Liberia, and Field offices in Tubmanburg, BOMI County, Plebo, Maryland County and Fish Town, River Gee County.

SURIDO has an administrative structure consisting of, an Executive Director, Program Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Finance Officer, Climate change Advisor, Nutrition Advisor, WASH specialists, Agricultural supervisor and a Technical Supervisor. The activities of the Agency are closely monitored by a seven-member Board of Directors, comprising of eminent Liberian Citizens.

For the capacity of SURIDO in project implementation mainly WASH and Agriculture adapted to climate change, The following Persons can be contacted by per organization.

2020 to current, SURIDO is working with WaterAid Liberia to implement a WASH in schools Project Title; Improve Equitable and Sustainable Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in 15 Rural Communities and four (4) Schools in Todee District, Montserrado County, Liberia.

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