Thursday, June 02, 2016


How many things are wrong with this situation?
Residents of Kuwah Town located in Kpatolie Clan, Salala District, Lower Bong, are still drinking from streams and nearby creeks because they lack a source of safe drinking water in the area. The residents are appealing to the government to provide them with at least a hand pump that
will provide them with safe drinking water ...

Kuwah Town Chief Bigboy George told LINA that his town not only lacks access to safe drinking water, but also good roads, clinics and schools which, he said, subjects the inhabitants to severe hardships.

Town Chief George said the only hand pump in town, installed long ago by a local non-governmental organization, has since broken leaving the over 500 households compelled to draw a bucket of drinking water every day from nearby streams.

Yes, those nearby streams are polluted.

That nameless NGO seems to have overlooked maintenance and ownership: who maintains the well, and who replaces it? In my not so humble judgment the town should have gotten an up-front warning: we'll put it in, but you need to save some taxes to pay for maintenance and replacement. Google suggests that a pump of this kind costs about $60: triple that for import costs and duties (WAG), and call it $200. Triple that again for installation. That comes to $1.20 per household--a not entirely trivial expense, but over a few years it wouldn't pinch hard.

Would the chief "eat the money?" I wonder. I'd not bet that he wouldn't, but Liberia has surprised me before and possibly the family ties in the village would be strong enough to keep him honest.

No comments: