Liberia is one of 21 countries selected by the US government to receive funding for drinking water and sanitation. Of the $1.8 billion promised, the West African country will receive $50 million.
The harvest is good for Liberia which has just participated in the 9th edition of the World Water Forum (WWF) in Dakar, Senegal. The West African country will receive $50 million from the United States of America to improve its drinking water and sanitation services. The funding pledge was made at the 20th anniversary celebration of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) on the sidelines of the WWF.
The funding announced by Washington will be used to build new facilities. Liberia has an abundance of untapped resources due to lack of infrastructure, especially in rural areas.
Five years of funding
“People are still drinking water from streams. With the future funding, we want to make drinking water available through the installation of human-powered pumps,” says Vicent Willie, co-chair of the Legislative Wash (water, sanitation and hygiene) Caucus and member of the Liberian delegation to the WWF.
In the West African country, 42% of the population still practices open defecation, according to the 2017 Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), resulting in the proliferation of waterborne diseases. The Liberian government hopes to put an end to this phenomenon by 2025 by building public toilets. People will also be educated on how to use the new public hygiene facilities.
The funds provided by the United States of America will be released over a five-year period. The US government will deduct the $50 million from a $1.8 billion package recently pledged to 21 countries for water and sanitation, including 15 in Africa.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 418 million of the continent’s 1.3 billion people still do not have access to even basic drinking water and 779 million people do not have access to basic sanitation (including 208 million who practice open defecation).