GoL sign's 25 million grant agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

DSC 3463Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh on behalf of the Liberian Government, today signed a grant agreement for twenty five million United States Dollars with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), for the construction of municipal water system in the cities of Robertsport, Voinjama and Sanniquellie.

 

According to a Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) release, Minister Konneh who commended the United States Government for the assistance, further assured USAID that the government of Liberia through the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC), will ensure the development and sustainability of municipal water supply infrastructure, under the Liberia municipal project is executed within the time frame of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).


He said the MFDP will work with all stakeholders particularly the Management of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation to ensure that the project is fully executed. “I urge the implementing partners to rise to the occasion and ensure that the project is completed on time as the provision of quality water to all parts of the country is critical to the sustenance and effective promotion of health, sanitation and hygiene to all,” Minister Konneh emphasized.

He indicated that, USAID’s additional twenty five million grant will enhance the LWSC capacity for increase access to safe drinking water to rural dwellers across the country.
He said the MFDP being the delivery unit of the project was deeply involved, because “it wants the LWSC to live up to government’s commitment under the MOU and the performance contract.”

Also speaking during the signing of the MOU, USAID’s outgoing Mission Director, John Mark Winfield emphasized that the agreement is aimed at building an earnest relationship between the United States of America and Liberia.
Mr. Winfield said the US government will remain com

mitted in supporting the Liberian government in its quest to provide the basic needs of its people as he maintained that the implementation of the project will help increase water supply and improve sanitation in the targeted cities and their environs.
He said the MOU signifies good relationship and commitment between the two countries as he maintained that the signing of the MOU was a result of many years of efforts by the LWSC, USAID and the MFDP.


“There were concerns from the funding end on the maintenance of the systems once they were built, and the sustainability of the systems, whether they had the ability to sustain themselves and make more money, but with the ownership being shown by the government, the LWSC and the communities that would be benefitting from the systems and coming together, USAID now feels very confident that there is a very good formula for going forward with the project,” Mr. Winfield emphasized.

The MFDP release noted that, the MOU is the completion of the Liberia Municipal Water Project (LMWP) and a Capital Improvement (CIP) which objective is to increase access to affordable and safe water supply for the population of Robertsoprt, Voinjama and Sanniquellie.

The LWSC Management is expected to sign a three-year Performance Contract (PC) with the GOL to ensure specific targets are achieved during the period of the contract and assume the responsibility for the overall coordination of the project on behalf of the government of Liberia.


The MOU states that, the MFDP is to ensure appropriate governance, financing and management system are put in place to sustainably operate and maintain the infrastructure to be developed under the project while GOL through MFDP will provide financing to meet operational cost shortfall that may occur following the closeout of USAID assistance.
GOL shall also ensure timely transfer of subsidies needed for basic operation of the LWSC water treatment Plants and setting of all GOL water bills to the entity.

USAID is expected to cover 100 percent of the system based expenses for the initial two years of the operations and up to 50 percent of operator based expenses for year one and twenty five percent for year two as needed to cover verifiable revenue shortfalls while GOL is expected to cover the additional 50 percent in year one and 75 percent in year two.