The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Bishop Donyen Complains LWSC –Seeks Weah’s Intervention

By Kingston S. Kolleh
The Bishop of the Independent Church of Liberia (ICCL), Bishop Nimely Jacbokly Donyen has complained that the Liberia & Sewer Corporation made him to expend more than US$19,000 (Nineteen Thousand United States Dollars) for the supply of pipe-borne water to Cheerful Givers High School (CGHS) but the services not forthcoming.
He said that he is of the conviction with the belief that the President’s intervention by mandating authorities of the LWSC to restore their water supply will undoubtedly bring lasting relief to the students as well as the community because they had engaged LWSC on several occasions but to no avail.
Bishop Donyen, Proprietor of CGHS, made the disclosure recently in a rather dejected mood on the campus in City View, Red Hill Community in Montserrado County saying that he is appealing to President Weah to come to the aid of the students who are predominantly kids.
According to the ICCL Bishop, the water issue is a major problem that is confronting the smooth running of the institution and that it is not only frustrating but has also led to his many donors to hold back their supports toward other projects that they earmarked for the country when they came to Liberia in February, 2019.
“I am appealing to the President to help us so that this project can be a reality in order to encourage my many sponsors to continue supporting other meaningful projects here,” he pleaded.
The Clergyman further stated that he has been connected as a Bishop and as such, he needs support as it relates to carrying out impactful projects for the underprivileged in society indicating that he is presently empowering several market women through microloan and that plans are underway for the establishment of computer training center for the youths, night school for high school drop-outs including quick impact projects for teenage mothers, among others.
“I am preaching the words of God to the people so it is also my obligation to do what it says to help them,” he intimated.
It can be recalled that the students of the CGHS staged a peaceful protest in March of this year in demand of their water but it later turned violent as students and some community members clashed with students beaten along with a teacher sustaining wound while some properties were damaged in the process. See full letter below

14.0 An Appeal to President George Manneh Weah

14.01. I am from Behtu.

14.02. Mr. President, I am facing a problem.

14.03. The Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation made me spend more than US19,000.00 (nineteen thousand United States dollars to bring pipe borne water to my school, (Cheerful Givers High School ), but no water comes to the school.

14.04. In December 2018, I wrote to you to complain the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation, but I have not got a redress and the problem persists. Maybe
the letter I sent to you didn’t reach you that is why you have not instructed the Managing Director of the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation to act properly.

14.05. The length of the waterline I paid Water & Sewer to build is about 5,000 feet. The water comes to my community, to the Lutheran Bishop’s house and to those who sell water, but about 800 feet to my school, Water & Sewer blocked the water so that it cannot reach my school.

14.06. During my visit to the United States in 2015, I appealed to a humanitarian to help my school – Cheerful Givers High School – with drinking
water. At that time, I had more than 1,200 students in the school.

14.07. The humanitarian understood how difficult it was to keep such a huge number of students in a school without water. So, he promised to pay for the drilling of a well.

14.08. When the humanitarian agreed, I told him that pipe borne water can come to Cheerful Givers High School, because the pipe through which water is supplied to Monrovia is right below our hill, about 5,000 feet from Cheerful Givers High School. My reason for appealing for a pipeline was that not only the school, but also the community would benefit from the supply of pipe borne water.

14.09. For the school and the community to have pipe borne water, I suggested to the humanitarian that a four-inch waterline be built. The humanitarian

14.10. In November 2016, a team from Water & Sewer did the measurement and the mapping of the proposed waterline. On December 1, 2016, I received a letter from the former Managing Director of Water & Sewer informing me that
the total cost to build the waterline from the national pipeline to Cheerful Givers High School was US$18,712.12 (eighteen thousand seven
hundred and twelve United States dollars twelve cents).

14.11. When I received the cost breakdown, I suggested to the Managing Director that Water & Sewer should take charge of the technical aspect and I would be in charge of the unskilled aspect. And after all the calculations were done, the technical aspect and its incidentals came to US$12,000.00 (twelve thousand United States dollars).

14.12. On December 19, 2016, I was accompanied to Water & Sewer by a bus full of women (who sang religious songs of thanksgiving) to present the check of US$12,000.00 (twelve thousand United States dollars) to the Managing Director of Water & Sewer. Upon receipt of the check, the Managing Director said that this was the first time in the history of Water & Sewer for an individual Liberian to give such an amount to the corporation for the supply of pipe borne water.

14.13. When we came back, I met the community leadership and the young men of the community were mobilized, and they manually dug a three-foot deep waterline. Each young man was paid daily according to the length of
waterline dug. If the area dug was rocky, the digger was paid double. And after some ups and downs, there was pipe borne water supply at the school, and because of the school, pipe borne water was in the community. The women of the community came to me and thanked me for bringing pipe borne water for the community.

14.14. Unfortunately, in November 2017, water supply to the school stopped because Water & Sewer connected the Lutheran Bishop’s house and some water sellers to Cheerful Givers High School’s waterline. Today, in order to have some water for the students to drink, I have to buy containers of water from the water sellers in the community who are connected to the school’s waterline.

14.15. I informed Water & Sewer that though water was being supplied through the school’s waterline to the Lutheran Bishop’s house and to water sellers in the community, no water was reaching Cheerful Givers High School (the students for whose sake the donor gave the money). I was told by Water & Sewer that this was due to low pressure.

14.16. Since they say that low pressure was the only reason why water coming to the community through the school’s waterline was not reaching Cheerful Givers High School, in January 2018, I wrote to the Managing Director of Water & Sewer and appealed to him to disconnect all those who they connected to the school’s waterline, so that the students of Cheerful Givers High School, the primary beneficiaries of the waterline, would have water at the school.

14.17. Unfortunately, my letter reached the former Managing Director during the transitional period, when the former Managing Director was parking out. So in April 2018, I wrote to the new Managing Director that you appointed, but the problem remains up this day.

14.18. In November 2018, the Female Students of Cheerful Givers High School wrote to your wife, First Lady Madam Clar Weah, Vice President Madam Jewel Howard Taylor, and the Gender Minister, but the female students got no redress. So the female students left the government circle and wrote to the Female Lawyers Association of Liberia, but they also got no redress.

14.19. In February 2019, the donor, who gave the money for the waterline, came with a team of humanitarians from the USA to visit Cheerful Givers High School. It was a big, shocking and alarming disappointment when they saw water flowing through Cheerful Givers High School’s waterline and people were selling the water, but there was not a drop of water at Cheerful Givers High School.

14.20. So during their visit with Speaker Bhofal Chambers on February 18, 2019, the USA humanitarians appealed to the Speaker to prevail on the Managing Director of Water & Sewer to open the section of the school’s waterline that is blocked by Water & Sewer. Nothing has happened. Everyone is surprised that this is happening in Liberia.

14.21. On Monday, March 18, 2019, the students of Cheerful Givers High School demonstrated for their water, but things were turned against them by people in the community who vowed that water should not reach Cheerful Givers High School so that the monopoly on water selling in the community would not be broken. One of the teachers was almost killed. He was badly wounded.

14.22. Mr. President, please know, without an iota doubt, that a state of hopelessness is permeating the Republic of Liberia during Your Presidency. Maybe because of your exalted status it is difficult for you to know. But if those who have unhindered access to you, know that something bad is happening to an individual or a group of individuals in the Republic of Liberia, and they keep quiet, and hide it from you, a state of hopelessness is taking over the Republic of Liberia.

14.23. This water problem at Cheerful Givers High School may be a tip of the iceberg of hiding humble citizens’ cry from you, so that people would think that you are a bad president. No good president can condone for a minute what the Managing Director of the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation is doing to Cheerful Givers High School. Thank God this medium can be used to get this problem to you.

14.24. Mr. President, this is the problem I am facing. I am not asking for a favor from the Managing Director of Water & Sewer. I am asking the Managing Director of Water & Sewer to render the service I paid for. But the Managing Director does not want to supply water to my school, even though I paid for all the materials used to build the waterline, to dig the tunnel for the pipes and to manually burst the rocks that were in the way of the waterline. I am therefore appealing to you for your intervention.

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