Many slums and informal settlements lack access to safe, clean drinking water in Monrovia and Paynesville, Liberia. Water is key to preventing COVID-19, especially in slums and informal settlements where social distancing is impossible.
On 18 November 2020, the Cities Alliance Liberia Country Programme officially handed over 64 community water projects aimed at improving access, enhancing the quality of life, and promoting hygiene and sanitation in Monrovia and Paynesville.
The projects comprise 64 multipurpose water kiosks in 34 communities in Monrovia, Paynesville, and surrounding communities. There are 42 kiosks in 22 communities in Monrovia and 22 kiosks in 12 communities in Paynesville.
The project has brought relief to many slum communities where access to clean, safe drinking water is a challenge due to congestion and polluted groundwater.
I open from 6AM to 12:00PM daily. The water used to be a problem here but now is okay, people can drink safely from this place.
The water kiosks are designed to host a space for small scale trade that provides the community with basic commodities. It includes a solar lighting system and storage tank.
Maria Cheah is the operator of the Mamboe Town East water kiosks. She says that before the water kiosk was constructed, she walked many hours to fetch water from nearby communities. Sometimes she returned with no water, especially during the dry season.
There was no water in the community. As you can see, now I am selling my water and community people can come to fetch water. While selling water, I can also have my goods in the kiosks that people can buy without walking a long distance to get some basics.
The community water project is expected to benefit about 190,000 people and 40,000 households in Monrovia and Paynesville. It is part of the Cities Alliance Community Upgrading Fund, a community-driven development initiative supported by Comic Relief that provides financing for small infrastructure projects selected by the communities.
More from the Cities Alliance Liberia Country Programme
Improving Safe Access to Water in Greater Monrovia
Liberia: Stepping Up Efforts to Fight COVID-19
Responding to the COVID-19 threat in Liberia
Liberia: Cities Alliance Donates 150 Wash Stations to MCC and PCC