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PSI-Liberia, Partners Launch 5-Yr Project To End Open Defecation

By Patrick N. Tokpah (Bong County-contributor)

The Population Services International (PSI) has launched a countywide sanitation activity against open defecation across five of Liberia’s 15 counties with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The PSI Chief of Party, Mathew N’dote, in his overview of the Countywide Sanitation Project said the project is a five-year project designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the WASH Commission along with partners, adding that there have been several engagements with the various superintendents and community dwellers for the sustainability of the project in their various counties.

He said the Countywide Sanitation Project seeks to end open defecation in the targeted counties.

Mr. N’dote said the project actors will work with the private, government, and other partners mostly the communities’ residents in those counties.

The PSI/Liberia Chief of Party said the idea of the project is for every household to have toilets in those counties, which includes Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Bassa, and Rural Montserrado.

Bong County Health Team Officer Cynthia Blapooh termed the Countywide Sanitation Activity as important; thereby describing the WASH sector as an integral part of the Health Ministry and pledged the Bong County Health Team’s commitment to supporting the project.

During the launching ceremony, the Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Urban Affairs, Paulita Wie, said it was vital for the government and partners including the civil society to plan together so they can work collectively to ensure that things happen in the interest of the country, especially in the fight to end open defecation in Liberia.

“We want to appreciate the United States Government through the United States Agency for International (USAID) for the partnership support and the continual efforts towards the Liberia Government,” she said.

The Deputy Internal Affairs Minister further extolled the PSI and other consortiums that are part of the implementation of the project indicating that the concern of the government is focused on building a healthy community for the people of Liberia among others.

Officially launching the Countywide Sanitation Project, Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker lauded PSI and its partners for the five-year open defecation project initiative and also used the ceremony to express gratitude to President George Weah for coordinating the affairs of the government and its developmental partners.

The Bong County Superintendent also committed the local authorities of the five counties to working with the WASH Commission and partners to ensure that the design will be fully observed for the overall success of the project.

Sup. Walker told the actors who will be implementing the project to make show that the information concerning the end of open defecation is being disseminated to the public in a simple process that will allow everyone to get the rightful understanding of the project.

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