After 14 years of civil war that tore the country apart, Liberia’s water supply infrastructures had been left profoundly damaged. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL opened a mission in the country in 2003, when just 27% of the population had access to drinking water and 7% to sanitation facilities. In 2011, the country’s already fragile equilibrium was upset by the arrival of almost 11,000 Ivorian refugees at its borders. This made the health situation more critical than ever.
In the remote areas of south-east Liberia, communities live in isolation and have very limited access to infrastructure. Lack of access to drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities makes families particularly vulnerable to waterborne diseases.
In order to meet their needs, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL set up a programme to improve access to water and sanitation in the Maryland and Grand Kru regions, in south-east Liberia.
This project was part of a comprehensive 5-year programme conducted by a consortium of NGOs (with Oxfam, Action against Hunger, Concern Worldwide and Tearfund).
The programme was characterised by the use of a participatory approach, where local communities were actively involved in well and latrine construction projects. Our teams worked with local authorities to organise hygiene awareness campaigns based upon 4 key messages: collecting drinking water, maintaining latrines, hand-washing and waste management.
SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL also trained water management committees and water point maintenance technicians, in order to ensure that community facilities would be correctly maintained.
In 2012, once SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL had ensured that partner NGOs and local authorities would take on responsibility for the situation, the mission in Liberia was closed.
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