Better Coordination Between Gov’t Entities Can Reduce Water Outages

PAYNESVILLE, Montserrado – The recent damage to a 36-inch water main by Liberia Telecommunications Corporation engineers laying fiber optic cables has highlighted the lack of coordination between public utilities operating within the Monrovia metropolitan area.

From July 20 to 25, the damage to the pipe, which transports water into Monrovia, resulted in outages for the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation’s customers.

John Kpakolo, the deputy managing director for technical services at LWSC, said the lack of coordination among various government entities was a concern.

“In an instance where LIBTELCO or the Ministry of Public Works are engaged in some road work, LWSC should be informed, but such is not happening,” he said.

To repair the pipe, Horatio D. Bernard, LWSC’s transmission and distribution manager, explained that LWSC had to close the main supply line and remove the remaining water in the damaged pipe to allow the welders to do a proper job.

Welders at work on the damaged pipe. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Welders at work on the damaged pipe. Photo: Zeze Ballah

Bernard said there was a need for all government entities to work together to prevent issues like this from happening, adding that “coordination should always be done in the process.”

Emblematic of the lack of coordination, Bernard added that not a single representative from LIBTELCO was present when LWSC technicians were repairing the damaged pipe.

This is not the first time that activities by entities other than LWSC have resulted in water outages. In November of last year, construction activities by a private company near the Duport Road community in Paynesville caused a more limited outage.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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