Japanese Ambassador Dedicates US$86,000 Latrine Facilities for Three Schools in Bong

GBARNGA, Bong – Japanese Ambassador to Liberia, Mochizuki Hisanobu, has dedicated three modern water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities for schools in Bong.

The facilities, which include latrines and handwashing stations, were constructed at the St. Matthew Academy in Gbarnga, Gbelekpalai Public School, and Kerkulah Farm Public School by Sustainable Urban and Rural Integrated Development Organization through a grant of US$86,590 of the Japanese government.

The project objective is to improve the WASH facilities of the three schools in Jorquelleh district.

Speaking at the turning-over ceremony in Gbarnga, Amb. Hisanobuv expressed delight in successfully constructing the facilities and praised the implementer, SURIDO, for the partnership.

He said funding for the project was in line with his government’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project, which is intended to address basic human needs at the grassroots level, such as health, education, and water supply.

The Japanese ambassador, who also revealed that the project includes the construction of hand pumps at the schools, noted that the initiative is also expected to benefit more than 9,500 inhabitants of communities in the three locations after school hours.

He noted that the bilateral relationships between Japan and Liberia yield significant benefits for ordinary citizens, especially school-going kids in Liberia.

He said the WASH facilities will promote good health and hygiene and create a conducive learning environment that will ensure that all children, regardless of gender, will attend school regularly and comfortably.

He noted that the implementation of the project by SURIDO attests to the shared determination to address the pressing issue that challenged students of the targeted schools over the years.

SURIDO is an organization of trained WASH professionals currently implementing projects in agricultural development, WASH, and Nutrition.

The group’s executive director, Paul Jaiblai, described the commissioning of the new WASH facilities as a historic milestone for the organization and its partners.

Jaiblai recounted that his group’s first project with the Japanese government was to construct WASH facilities for four schools in Suakoko in 2019.

He praised the Japanese people for trusting SURIDO, among the many other organizations, to implement projects on its behalf.

“I am very happy today because this is not the first time SURIDO is implementing projects on behalf of the people of Japan here in Liberia,” he said.

As a result of the WASH facilities erected through the support of the Japanese government, he reported that enrollment, especially for girls, has significantly increased in the beneficiary schools.

“The duration of the project is up to ten years, so we will continue to make follow-ups to ensure that the facilities are well taken care of because the monies being used to build these facilities for our people came from taxes being paid by the citizens of Japan,” he added.

Government officials, including Bong’s assistant superintendent for development Selekee Kromah, District Education Officer Josiah Massaquoi, and the Ministry of Public Works’ WASH Coordinator in the county, Flomo Zayzay, attended the program.

Featured photo by Patrick S. Tokpah

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