Abundant in rivers, rainforests, mangroves and swamps, Liberia is one of the wettest countries in the world. But it lacks in infrastrucutre and services to reach everyone with safe drinking water.
Sanitation is very poor, with the vast majority of people in rural areas lacking decent toilets and latrines, and having to defecate in the open instead. About 42 per cent of Liberia population practices open defecation according to the Joint Monitoring Programme 2017 (JMP 2017).
All in all, less than 10 per cent of Liberians have access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services, according to the JMP 2017.
Securing access to safe water and adequate sanitation for all would go a long way in reducing infection, disease and death.
However, Liberia’s high rates of diarrheal diseases and childhood malnutrition, as well as frequent outbreaks of cholera, show how young children suffer when they don’t have access to the basics of life.
The recent Ebola outbreak has also highlighted the risks associated with inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to prevent or stop the spread of diseases.
For school-going children, the lack of WASH facilities in schools spreads disease and results in missed days of learning. For girls who have started to menstruate, the absence of separate girls/boys bathrooms discourages them from coming to school on menstrual days and contributes to drop-out.
Abundant in rivers, rainforests, mangroves and swamps, Liberia is one of the wettest countries in the world. Yet, a large proportion of the population does not have access to clean drinking water.