Liberia: Providing safe drinking water, Hygiene and Sanitation services to over 30,000 people


The First Lady, Government of Liberia’s WASH sector, and Development Partners unveil new water and sanitation facilities completed as part of Habitat’s complex incremental slum upgrading.

Presided by the Chief Guest, first Lady of the Republic of Liberia, Hon. Clair Marie Weah, and the Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, Paulita Wie, were present at the dedication event in Peace Island. Other dignitaries and government officials from the National WASH Commission, EPA, Libera Water and Sewerage Corporation and Monrovia City Corporation, Paynesville City Corporation, partner organization, civil society and community representatives gathered in Peace Island to unveil new water and sanitation facilities. The projects wereconstructed with funding from OPEC Fun for International Development and complimented by Cities Alliance and ADH Germany in partnership with the Government of Liberia for the people of Peace Island in Congo Town Township-Monrovia under Liberia Country Program. 

Partner organizations have constructed a community social hall, infrastructure facilities, Through Habitat for Humanity, the project implemented by World Hope International and YMCA includes a community social hall that was dedicated by H.E The President of the Republic of Liberia on March 5th 2021; A standalone mini water project with two high-yielding boreholes;solar pump systems to provide safe drinking water to over 30,000 people; an elevated water reservoir with six poly tanks; three water kiosks with a distribution network to all facilities constructed under the program; two newly constructed Bio-Eco sanitation Toilets and two renovated community toilets. 

For the first time in history of Peace Island, a complete solid waste management system involving primary waste collection, waste removal services, recycling and composting was implemented. 

A community clean-up campaign carried out in December 2020 helped to remove over 63,000 cubic meters of waste from the area. To facilitate the process, a modern reinforced concrete bin was constructed and installed with skip buckets while 40 community dwellers were hired by City Sanitation services, the Community based enterprise rendering waste collection from households.  

All the facilities are operated through community-based enterprises, supervised by the Community Project Management under the guidance of the Township Commissioner and relevant technical line ministries. Through YMCA, the community carried on sanitation and hygiene promotion activities at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic. By observing hygiene and sanitation practices residents of Peace Island were able to disrupt the spread of the virus in their community. 

“To meet the housing needs of the growing urban slum population, basic services and infrastructure development, interventions are necessary at community level, a market-based approach for sustained service delivery and as well as policy, regulation and enabling environment,” says Mathew Ndote, the Chief of Party at Habitat for Humanity International. “I am really happy that our project has demonstrated how to tackle these problems and found solutions to complex urban challenges at multiple levels. We know that it is possible to transforms urban slums into a decent place to live.”

Access to adequate and affordable housing and upgrading of slum settlements is a core component of achieving inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities, as envisioned in the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. However, cities are still struggling in achieving this goal.

“We are thrilled to be part of this historic effort in Peace Island to bring vital, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure to the slum community,” says Henry Harris, speaking on behalf of World the Country Director for World Hope International, Liberia. “Having these systems in place is a great step forward in affirming the human dignity of the people who call Peace Island home and is an important step forward in improving their health and wellbeing and creating opportunities for the future. I am grateful that World Hope has been able to work alongside of our partners and this community in making it a decent place to live – a place that has access to clean water and sanitation systems and a new lease on hope.”

Addressing the gathering, Hon Paulita C.C Wie, Deputy Minister, Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs said, ‘Urban development must include slums rather than the attempt to relocate. The national government should continue to create an enabling environment and driven solutions that can transform and impact the lives of our slum dwellers to allow the live with dignity and respect’. She thanked the president for creating the enabling environment for partnership and appreciated the contribution from donors and work done by the development partners working hand in hand with government at all levels, private sector and the community to deliver needed services. 

Speaking at the event, H.E first Lady Clar Marie Weah said, ‘The development initiative manifests Presidents George Weah’slove for his people and commitment to bettering their lives. Improving the living condition of our people in vulnerable communities is our priority, and we will not stop until we achieve this goal’. 

Peace Island is a large settlement of Monrovia with a population estimated at 36,000 people. Primary challenges facing residents were lack of access to clean water, uncollected solid waste and informal dumping sites causing major health hazards. Open defecation was also a major pollutant to the environment and destructive to the nearby mangroves as residents used plastic bags to dump human waste into the swamp. Monrovia is considered the wettest capital in the world, over 70 percent of the population in Monrovia is marred by numerous hazards, risks and vulnerabilities. Because of low elevation and poor citywide drainage systems, most residents are continuously affected by surface run off and flooding while most communities suffer from sea erosion and flooding. Fourteen years of civil war and the recent Ebola and COVID 19 crisis have significantly contributed to the unhealthy and hazardous conditions in which most urban dwellers live.

In Liberia, a five-year comprehensive slum upgrading, and affordable housing framework was developed under the Cities Alliance Liberia Country Program, It is being implemented in partnership between Habitat for Humanity, the government of Liberia, Slum Dwellers International, YMCA, UN-Habitat and Women in Informal Employment. World Hope International has recently joined this collaboration and implemented construction of planned facilities to pilot community level interventions.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.  

About World Hope International

For 25 years, World Hope International has been working around the world to provide those in need with opportunity, dignity, and hope so they can possess the tools for change in themselves, their family, and their community. World Hope focuses on clean water and energy, protection, global health, and social ventures. The Christian relief and development organization uses market-based and community-driven solutions to empower, protect, and build resiliency through innovative, environmentally conscious, and transformative projects. World Hope invites everyone to be part of this work through financial support, volunteering, and advocacy as, together, we work with vulnerable and exploited communities to alleviate poverty, suffering, and injustice.