PSI and Global Communities hosted a USAID delegation in Liberia’s Bong county, earlier this month. The delegation was visiting sites the USAID-funded Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IWASH) Project. Leading the delegation was USAID Global Water Coordinator Chris Holmes.
The IWASH project helped sixty-one communities reach open defecation free status in July 2013. A total of 120 communities are targeted in the effort, the program projected to reach 100 communities open defecation free by September.
“The Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program is not just focused on bringing one group communities to ODF status, but the goal is to develop the structures and capacity of National, County and District Government”, said IWASH Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Project Manager, Madam Elizabeth Geddeh, in July.
The CLTS approach is a crucial part of both improving sanitation at the community level and ensuring that it lasts. Outlined in a 2012 document, CLTS will be spread at the local level through the IWASH project.
A recent news story in Shout Africa covered the visit by the USAID delegation:
In rural Liberia access to water and sanitation facilities is very low, a leading contributor to the spread of water-borne diseases which are one of the major causes of death amongst Liberians, especially children.
Additionally, open defecation is commonly practiced in these rural areas, which spreads disease and contamination. USAID IWASH activities are addressing these issues in three counties: Lofa, Nimba, and Bong.