US$18M Raw Water Pipeline Construction, A 48-Inch Diameter Project, Funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under the Compact with Liberia Completed

The US government agency, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under the United States Government Compact with Liberia financed the 48-inch diameter pipeline project.

Monrovia – Construction work has been completed on the raw water pipeline that will boost quality water supply to about 1M people in Monrovia, helping to address Liberia`s post-war perennial limited access to safe drinking water by close to 90% of the country`s population.

Owned by the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC), the US$18 million pipeline will draw water from the dam of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant to the White Plains Water Treatment Plant in Rural Montserrado and then to Monrovia.

The pipeline uses gravity, instead of electric pump, to pull water into the treatment plant from the St. Paul River, saving LWSC approximately US$780,000 a year in electricity costs.

The US government agency, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under the United States Government Compact with Liberia financed the 48-inch diameter pipeline project.

The Liberian government agency, Millennium Challenge Account-Liberia (MCA-L) implemented the project.

A drone video of the completed project posted on MCA-L Facebook page reached more than 40,000 people, who expressed commendations for the project.

One of them, Jehu Duncan referenced the project as “the type of infrastructure development Liberia needs.

And Kofi Dignity Hiachor said “the best thing that has happened to Liberia is having development partners like you guys. This is a huge accomplishment. Thanks to you and the American people.”

The new pipeline, which replaces the original 36-inch pipeline, runs 5-km to the treatment plant, exposing steel and epoxy coating pipes along the route.

“The buried pipes are made of ductile iron and contain cement lining inside and bituminous coating outside,” according to MCA-L release issued in March, quoting Jurgen De Moor, project engineer for Belgium-based contractor Denys.

“The coatings will help protect bacteria from penetrating the pipes and contaminating the water while also preventing corrosion of the pipes,” added De Moore.

The previous location of LWSC’s intake pipe results in poor water quality and salty water during the dry season when the St. Paul River level is low.

Water from the Atlantic Ocean washes back into the river. Instead of retrieving water from downstream and closer to the ocean, the new pipeline will draw water from the reservoir upstream.

MCA-L hired contractors, DENYS and LWSC engineers completed final connection of the constructed 48-inch diameter raw water pipeline to the White Plains Water Treatment Plant last month.

The project is not just boosting quality water supply and cutting down on LWSC expenditure.

It has impacted the economy of the local community, employing 114 persons, with 79 coming from the surrounding communities of White Plains and Harrisburg.

As part of the MCA-L mandate of promoting gender and social inclusion, 21 percent of the workers hired by Denys are women – a much higher percentage than the industry standard of under 10 percent.

The Millennium Challenge Account-Liberia (MCA-L) also compensated all 55 persons whose properties fell within the right of way of the Raw Water Pipeline project, based on the extent of impact on the affected assets (crops, land and structures).

“The compensation process ensured fairness and protection of the most vulnerable, including women and children, by ensuring that funds were divided equally between husbands and wives,” according to a MCA-L release issued in July.

“Abundant in rivers, rainforests, mangroves and swamps, Liberia is one of the wettest countries in the world. Yet, a large proportion of the population does not have access to clean drinking water,” according to a statement posted on the website of UNICEF Liberia.