Over 80,000 West Pointers Lack Safe Drinking Water

-WASH Reporters and Editors Network Reveals

The WASH Reporters and Editors Network has reported that residents of the densely populated township of West Point in Monrovia lack access to safe drinking water.

The over 80,000 inhabitants are said to be going through a daily struggle for safe water due to the lack of pipe borne water, safe wells or hand pumps in any of the six communities in the township.

West Point Township is near Liberia’s capital, Monrovia and it is located on the peninsula which extends into the Atlantic Ocean between the Mesurado and St. Paul rivers.

The WASH R&E Network says residents of West Point, most of whom are considered less privileged, are faced with a daily challenge for safe water for their homes and businesses.

Most of the residents survive on sachet water or locally produced mineral water sold on trucks for cooking and drinking.

Others buy water from local dealers referred to as “push-push” gallon water for bathing and washing. Those who cannot afford are forced to go in search of water from unsafe shadow wells. The residents described their plight as unbearable as most of them are unemployed and are living in poverty.  

According to the President of the Concerned Youth of West Point, Morris Zayzay, the issue of safe drinking water in the township is a serious challenge.

Zayzay noted that due to the lack of safe drinking water in West Point, water borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera and skin rashes are on the increase in the township, especially affecting children.

For his part, the Commissioner of West Point Township, William Wea described the situation as an old age problem that West Point inhabitants go through.

Commissioner Wea said since the end of the civil crisis 16 years ago, residents of West Point Township have not gotten access to pipe borne water, which he considered as very important.

He called on central government and donor partners to help the township with pipe borne water as they are also part of the capital city, Monrovia.

Also speaking, Esther Wleh and Summo Golafae of the West Point Women Center said women of the township are going through lots of suffering due to the lack of safe drinking water.

The two women told WASH R&E Network that they have to either purchase water to drink or use the water from shadow wells, which is very salty to cook and wash with.

The residents are therefore appealing to the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC) and development partners to ensure that safe drinking water is provided the over 80,000 inhabitants of the township.

West Point is one of Monrovia’s most densely populated slums but environmental degradation has gradually caused part of the peninsula to erode into the Atlantic Ocean.  

This article forms part of the regular WASH reportage by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E), with support from WaterAid in Liberia.

It has also helped to highlight the many safe water challenges faced by Liberians and foreign residents as Liberia joins the rest of the world to observe World Water Day 2021, on March 22.

The Media Network “WASH R&E” has also been following series of activities in partnership with the Liberia CSOs WASH Network in observance of Water Action Month.

Water Action Month is an Annual WASH Campaign held every March, providing a platform for civil society organizations to raise awareness of the human rights to safe water and sanitation.

The aim of Water Action Month is to achieve change, a change that ultimately leads to an end to the water and sanitation crisis. Water Action Month is a platform to make demands of decision makers, and in return, see renewed commitments and prioritization of WASH.

Water is life and therefore no one must be denied access to safe drinking water.

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