Project Liberia

Project Overview

Ten years after the devastating civil war, just 1 in 4 Liberians has access to safe drinking water, according to the World Health Organization. Half of all Liberians have no access to a toilet and use streams or open areas. Outbreaks of water-borne diseases like cholera occur regularly. As many as 1 in 5 deaths in Liberia are blamed on water and sanitation problems.

A Brief History of Liberia:

In 1820 Liberia was established as a colony for freed slaves from the United States. In 1847, these colonists founded the Republic of Liberia, establishing a government modeled on that of the United States and naming the capital city Monrovia after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States.

Fast forward 2003:

Towards the end of a long, and brutal, civil war, women were able to achieve peace in Liberia after 14 years of war - and helped bring to power the country's first female president. This amazing story is told in the 2008 documentary, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell." During the war, rebels destroyed all water and energy infrastructure, so most safe water delivery systems are now gone.

Fast forward to 2012:

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf selected Kimmie Weeks to be Chairman of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC). Dr Weeks says a role with the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation gives him another opportunity to contribute to his long history of humanitarian work and activism. He observed: “Access to safe and clean drinking water is one of the most basic of human rights. Being a part of the team at LWSC gives me an opportunity to ensure that every Liberian has access to safe water.”

Waves For Water is focusing on Liberia in addition to the many other spots throughout the world to fight the war on clean water.

Apr 08 - 2014Field Report // World Water Day

alt text Katie Meyler, More Than Me Academy, votes YES everyday - providing hope for the future for many young girls who would otherwise fall prey to the harsh realities of poverty in Liberia.

Over the years, Waves For Water has completed three clean-water projects in Liberia. The first one carried out by Jon Rose, was featured in Surfing Magazine

The second led by Jack Rose, and the third by Jack Rose and Christian Troy. Projects 2 and 3 were in collaboration with Spryte Loriano. Can read about these at: W4W //Liberia

When selecting locations for World Water Day, Liberia was an obvious choice, mainly, because of the amazing local networks that have worked with us over the years. Spryte Loriano, Seanan Denizot, Kimmie Weeks - the list goes on.

There are people who travel around the world to work & sweat on the front lines in the daily war against water borne disease in equatorial Africa. And my reward is getting to work alongside such gifted and loving people.

For this special project Aamion Goodwin, Sam Talbot and Aaron Flynn joined me to form a truly awesome Waves For Water field operations team. This team, combined with Spryte and Seanan, made our World Water Day implementations a 100% success - bringing access to safe water to over 25,000 people in eight remote villages.

But, of course, we make up only half of the story - the other half are the students and teachers who receive us at each school. They are gracious, inspiring and awesome. And now they all have safe drinking water.

Catherine, of Barefoot Liberia - upon my arrival 17 March in Liberia. alt text

With Spryte Loriano - bringing safe drinking water to hundreds of students in village school. alt text Contaminated shallow wells throughout West Point - one of our World Water Day locations. alt text Kids at More Than Me Academy helping our clean-water demonstration. alt text Aamion Goodwin traveled all the way from Kauai to help us get safe drinking water to thousands of people on World Water Day. alt text Clean Water Courier, Sam Talbot, traveled from New York, - bringing 200 filters. Students and teachers are so grateful that Sam voted YES for their future - with his feet and heart and hands and sweat. alt text Aamion, another Clean Water Courier, voting YES for a brighter future for thousands of happy kids at all the schools we visited. alt text Spryte, voting YES with her entire life every day in Liberia, where she now lives - teaching the teachers. Spryte has helped me get safe drinking water to tens of thousands of people in Africa over the years. alt text Seanan Denizot, Barefoot Liberia, with staff from the More Than Me Academy. Seanan lives here and votes YES for future of Liberia everyday. alt text Chid Liberty, of Liberty & Justice, voting YES for Liberia everyday. His new clothing manufacturing operation provides jobs for 300 women - Waves For Water provides the drinking water - enough for the work day and for taking home. alt text Each school we visited now has ability to provide safe drinking water for every student - and enough for parents nearby to come to school and filter the well water to take back home. alt text Molly Moore and Aamion Goodwin bringing World Water Day clean-water systems to three remote villages surrounding Molly's orphanage. alt text Who we work for... alt text Sam, receiving handoff from local team. alt text Our Mt. Barclay village team - including Jack, Seanan, Molly, Sam, Catherine, Aamion and awesome local helpers. alt text World class photographer, Aaron Flynn, documenting WWD Liberia. alt text Aamion teaching Alex, our local hero who will continue to bring safe water to West Point after we are gone. alt text Aaron in the mosh pit - no telephoto lens needed. We came, we delivered, we split. In most school locations, the vibe is very peaceful and loving - here we were on the front lines in the war on water borne disease - and had to get out fast. alt text This boat reminded me of what a swami in India said to me recently, "It's better to see God in everything than to try to figure it all out". This was very helpful on WWD in West Point. I chose this site for our demo, with the ocean to our back - providing an empty, still counterpoint to the relentless struggle of daily existence surrounding us. alt text For our closing WWD training & distribution Spryte Loriano and Waves For Water gave buckets & filters to 100 school teachers attending her Woman's Empowerment course in Monrovia. Our strategy is to 'teach the teachers' - Because of the amazing work Spryte is doing, we were able to make a huge impact, as each teacher returned with safe water to their villages throughout Liberia. alt text

Images include Jersey girl, Katie Meyler of MORE THAN ME Academy and Molly Moore, a 21 year old woman from North Carolina who runs an orphanage in a remote village. Also included is Chid Liberty of LIBERTY & JUSTICE

As we come and go to extreme remote locations around the world, our work is made possible by our in-country friends and colleagues who are dedicated to making a difference over the long run, moving their countries forward, improving quality of life one day at a time. It's was a particular honor and pleasure to work with such amazing people in all our World Water Day project sites: Liberia, Brazil, Haiti, Philippines, Nicaragua, Bali.

Extreme 'Thank you' to Hurley for imagining this project and driving it steadily forward to amazing success.

For World Water Day 2015, we hope to amplify this year's scope & reach by a factor of ten - bringing access to safe drinking water to a million people in a single day. Stay tuned.

Statistics & Progress

Destination Monrovia - Liberia

Funds Raised
$16,116 of $25,000

Impact 60,000+