Quality Assurance and Institutional Reform, Liberia Municipal Water Project II
Tetra Tech is helping improve access to safe water through construction oversight, capacity building, and institutional reform activities.
Building upon Tetra Tech’s water treatment plant designs and institutional framework development under the Liberia Municipal Water Project I, the four-year U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Liberia Municipal Water Project II (LMWP II) supports water-supply infrastructure improvements in Robertsport, Sanniquellie, and Voinjama. Tetra Tech improves public health, strengthens institutional capacity, and engages the community by providing direct technical and management assistance to the water utility, Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC).
Through LMWP II, Tetra Tech encourages more effective, accountable, and inclusive governance; helps reduce poverty through economic growth; supports the improved health status of Liberians; educates water treatment technicians; and spearheads Liberia’s journey to self-reliance.
In the first two years, Tetra Tech conducted construction oversight and quality assurance services for the three urban water treatment and distribution networks. The innovative treatment system combines low-tech sedimentation and filtration with a hybrid diesel and solar energy system for a low-cost, easy-to-maintain option that enables local utility personnel to easily operate and maintain the facilities. The project uses distribution kiosks to sell treated water from the treatment facilities in convenient locations throughout the city.
Following substantial completion of construction, LMWP II oversees operations and project activities to build a foundation for long-term and successful facility management. Tetra Tech developed operations and maintenance procedures that detail requirements, revenue collection, accounting, water quality testing, and system monitoring. LMWP II uses these procedures to provide critical guidance and build the capacity of the water utility and local operators to effectively play their role maintaining the treatment and distribution networks from a technical and financial standpoint.
The project designed a road map to cost recovery that ringfences revenue within the target cities and will enable future expansion to household connections. The operations and maintenance procedures also extend to management capabilities to improve transparency through record-keeping and accountability. Furthermore, LMWP II recruited members from the community in Local Steering Committees to maintain communication with LWSC and engage with the community to promote water sales and improve public health.
Clean, safe drinking water is currently supplied to more than 35,000 people living in the three project cities. According to a 2019 survey, more than 70 percent of households use the kiosks as their primary drinking water sources and two thirds of which report a significant reduction in waterborne illness. LWSC has completed 26 private connections out of 406 applications. Tetra Tech continues to support LWSC through the USAID Network Expansion and WASH Oversight in Health Facilities contract to establish private connections that help LWSC reach cost recovery and bring clean water to homes and businesses.