MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ The Millennium Challenge Account Liberia has outlined several key projects as its priority for 2019.
MCAL is the Liberian government agency that administers the five-year compact fund of the U.S. governmentâ€™s Millennium Challenge Corporation.
A press statement issued by the agency revealed that the implementation of the compact has entered a critical stage, with two years remaining until its closure in January 2021.
The statement disclosed that staff from several government entities, including the Ministry of Public Works, the National Road Fund, the Liberia Electricity Corporation, and the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation participated in a two-week series of strategic planning meetings and workshops held last year between December 3 and 15.
At the end of the strategic sessions, the press statement indicated that MCAL staff and MCCâ€™s country team members outlined five key priority activities, including the establishment of a training center and customer service support for the electricity corporation, construction of a raw water pipeline for the LWSC, support for the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, and support for road maintenance.
According to the statement, Monie Captan, MCALâ€™s CEO, emphasized during the opening of the workshops that coordination with the governmentâ€™s implementing partners and MCC counterparts will ensure effective implementation of compact projects.
â€œThe workshops provided the opportunity for the governmentâ€™s implementing entities as stakeholders to the compact to provide their inputs to the MCA-L work plan for 2019 and validate such for a coordinated implementation,â€ the press statement quotes Captan as saying.
For her part, MCCâ€™s resident country director for Liberia, Kateri Clement, informed participants at the strategic sessions that planning remains a crucial tool for successful implementation. She assured the participants of MCC`s continual technical support.
She called on MCAL and the governmentâ€™s partner institutions to work collaboratively to ensure successful implementation of projects.
In its 2019 work plan, MCAL outlined a goal to focus on finalizing procurement for the design and construction of the training center at LEC, which will provide training facilities, equipment, materials, and tools to enhance LECâ€™s technical staff ability to effectively support its maintenance and operations.
The plan also calls for strengthening LECâ€™s communication with customers by refurbishing its customer service center, and installing modern communication systems and a call center to improve service delivery.
The compact will also support the construction of a five-kilometer raw water pipeline that replaces the damaged LWSC pipeline from the dam at the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant to the White Plains Water Treatment Plant.
The new pipeline, according to MCAL, will provide fresh water to the water treatment plant from behind the dam through gravity flow. When completed, it will also replace the need for high-cost electric pumping and salt-water intrusion into the treatment plant.
The compact will also support the establishment and operationalization of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission to regulate the countryâ€™s electricity sector. The entity will be in the position to issue licenses to power suppliers, approve electricity tariffs and standards, and mediate between customers and suppliers.
Under the roads project, the press statement mentioned that MCAL will provide support for capacity building, planning, and road maintenance through the National Road Fund.
The compact has set aside US$15 million to match the government funding for periodic maintenance of primary road network.
In 2018, MCAL focused on the energy project of Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, LEC training center activity and management support, market electrification, and WASH activities, among others.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah