Project Location: Grand Bassa County, Liberia, West Africa
Date of Project: May 2014
History and Scope of Problem:
Liberia is known to many Americans as the first and only American colony. It is where the freed slaves of America were sent, if they wanted to return to Africa after the Emancipation Proclamation. Liberians considered themselves the “step-children” of America. Liberia’s Capital Monrovia, is named after the US President Monroe, and their flag looks like the American flag, and many streets have familiar names. Home to four million people, it was the fastest developing nation in Africa until the Civil War erupted, after 100 years of peace. American Special Forces were sent in to retrieve intelligence and how they could help to stop the war. The reports that came back from soldiers said that the “Liberian war made Iraq look like Disneyland.” Child soldiers, as young as six years old were forced to leave their families. Schools were closed, there were food shortages, electric grids and modern water plants destroyed. Only sickness, death squads and rape – there was no semblance of normality or safety for fifteen years until the war ended in 2003. Twelve years later, water still does not flow to all its inhabitants, even in the capital with more than one million people, the wells are filled with bacteria regularly causing illness and death. In fact, water borne disease is the number one killer in Liberia.
Project Overview and Result:
An International Delegation from eight countries arrived to support the distribution of water filters to three rural villages in Grand Bassa County, about a two-hour drive from the Capital. Each village contained over 150 people. Our delegation demonstrated the filters usage and maintenance and “sharing model” to village elders, and supplied two filters and buckets in each village for use for all inhabitants.
Number of Filters Provided: 6 filters
Project Impact : 500+ people served for up to two decades with proper usage of filter
Project Cost: $300 ($50 per filter, providing one million gallons per filter)
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