20 new multipurpose water kiosks, built by Cities Alliance, have recently been handed over to the communities in Blamo town, on Bushrod Island, and Weh Town in Paynesville, Greater Monrovia.
The facilities will benefit nearly 15,000 residents from informal settlements in the Liberian capital. The kiosks, that include solar lighting system and a storage tank, are designed to host a space for small scale trade, providing the communities with basic commodities and supporting their livelihoods.
The new kiosks are the first of a total of 50 water facilities being constructed in the area, under Cities Alliance Community Upgrading Fund (CUF) project, supported by Comic Relief and Water Aid Liberia.
“The water kiosk has brought relieve to the community. We used to pay 5 Liberian dollars for a gallon of water. Now, we just have to provide the same amount for 3 gallons of water to contribute as a community towards the maintenance of the water kiosk”, said Victoria Cooper head of the Blamo town Community Block B. The water kiosks have significantly reduced the cost of water for the community. The money paid is managed by FOLUPS and used for payments Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, as well as to the community for water kiosk attendants, maintenance and repairs.
During the donation event in Blamo town, Famata Roesler, Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, encouraged the residents to be proud of their communities. “I am very proud that I came from a slum community and I want to let you know that there are good people within the slums. Therefore, you must be proud of where you live”. Minister Roesler urged people of Blamo town to maintain the water facilities and continue to cooperate with development partners to achieve the development goals.
A similar message was delivered by the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, (LWSC). “The water facilities have a modern design and would assist community members to trade essential items. The structures are solid and will last long term. However, the residents must be transparent in the management so that when the partners are gone you will be prepared to handle its maintenance”, said Mohammed Kroma, Operations Engineer of LWSC.
Andrew Senjovu, Project Manager of Cities Alliance Liberia, reiterated to partners and local authorities, the organisation’s commitment to further supporting development initiatives to improve the living conditions of the urban poor.
“Cities Alliance recognizes that there are a lot of challenges in the country, such as lack of roads, housing and safe drinking water. We are well aware of the importance to partner with key stakeholders to plan and implement together so that our efforts for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) pay off”, he said.
The Cities Alliance CUF is a community-driven development initiative that funds small infrastructure projects selected by the communities themselves. The projects enable the urban poor to make a measurable impact by improving their basic social and physical infrastructure. The projects are expected to benefit 400,000 people, from 113 communities in informal settlements, across Greater Monrovia.