Monrovia, Liberia –Less than 10 percent of the population in Liberia has access to safe drinking water, according to a survey by the International Social Survey Program. The ISSP’s findings, according to Reverend Doctor George Wilson, Dean of the Bishop Johns G. Innis Graduate School of Theology at the United Methodist University, are alarming, and the government needs to partner with nongovernmental organizations to provide hand pumps to people in rural Liberia.
The announcement was made by Rev. Wilson during his keynote address at the start of a one-day seminar held in Monrovia by the Michigan Annual seminar of the United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Human Rights Monitor Water for Life initiative. He claims that the majority of those who lack access to clean drinking water are from the underprivileged, marginalized groups of society, such as the disabled, residents in slum areas, refugees, and the destitute.
“Ordinary people are still dying from water borne diseases, it appears nothing has been done in addressing the safe water problems in some parts of the country.”
Jefferson Knight, the program director for the United Methodist Human Rights Monitor Water for Life Program, revealed that since the project’s inception in Liberia, more than 585 hand pumps have been opened.
According to him, it is terrible that certain Liberians, even after their country has been independent for 173 years, continue to drink from creeks, streams, and marshes in some locations. He emphasized the necessity for the Liberian government and the international partners to assist the faith-based and civil society organizations in building hand pumps for the less privileged and rural residents.
Reverend Jon Reynolds of the Brighton United Methodist Church in the Michigan Annual Conference, who also spoke, claimed that the corona virus outbreak in the US and other parts of the world had a significant negative impact on the fundraising efforts for the Liberian Water for Life program. He spoke on the theme, “International Fund Raising, Strategy and Challenges.”
After a day-long meeting on safe drinking water, participants endorsed a three-point recommendation to increase the availability of safe drinking water in rural Liberia.
The Liberian government was urged in the suggestions, which were read out by Edwin Benson, among other things, to assist civil society organizations in providing rural residents with access to safe drinking water.
In order to prevent partners from accusing the church of utilizing the Water For Life initiative as a tool for evangelization, the participants also decided that the program should be seen as an independent entity of the church.
The conference was held under the theme: “Clean Water for Life”, the conference brought together participants the fifteen counties.
Reported by: Augustine Octavius