MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ A Bush Chicken investigation has uncovered the cause of the ongoing water outages experienced by Central Monrovia and nearby communities in recent weeks.
While management at the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation have refused to answer questions on the cause of the outages or notify the public about persistent issues, an employee at the public utility, who spoke anonymously, has revealed the reasons why much of the cityâ€™s core suffers from a lack of running water.
LWSC supplies water from its White Plains facility through two routes, using 16-inch and 36-inch pipes.
The 16-inch pipe runs from White Plains through the township of Louisiana and supplies Caldwell, Duala, New Kru Town, Clara Town, and Via Town. The 36-inch pipe runs through Paynesville, Congo Town, Old Road, Lakpazee, and Sinkor.
The 36-inch pipe is also supposed to run through Sinkor to Central Monrovia, but a â€œtechnical faultâ€ around the Monrovia City Corporation has prevented water from traveling any further. Technicians at LWSC have not been able to solve the problem.
This, according to our source, has been the cause of recurrent outages over the past few years at several government and private institutions. These include the University of Liberia, Stella Maris Polytechnic, the National Legislature, the Liberia National Police headquarters, the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, and Cellcom, among others.
In order to supply water to Central Monrovia, especially during the festive Christmas season, LWSC has begun trucking water to a location on Newport Street. LWSCâ€™s goal is to then pump the water to a reservoir located around the old Ducor Palace for distribution throughout Central Monrovia.
Until the tactic is fully implemented, residents in many parts of Central Monrovia have had to purchase water in gallons from water dealers. The dealers receive the water from LWSC pumps in strategic locations across Central Monrovia.
Chris Sherman, LWSCâ€™s deputy managing director for administration, said the issue of trucking water to Central Monrovia was something that LWSC was doing internally. He declined to explain why the utility was taking this action, adding that â€œthe public does not need to know.â€
Recently, members of the Liberian Senate voted to privatize the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation based on a recommendation from the senate committee on Land, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Public Corporations.
The committee chairman Senator Albert Chie of Grand Kru said its recommendation is based on findings from an investigation done by authorities of LWSC.
The committee said LWSCâ€™s managing director informed the body that the corporation faces a daunting challenge of replacing looted and damaged pipes in addition to an estimated US$28 million cost to restore the White Plains facility to its pre-war status.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah