In April 2013, the Checago Bright Foundation, Inc. funded and constructed a (3) room modern toilet, a hand pump (clean water), rehabilitated a broken hand pump, and conducted hygiene training in Pleemu Town, Garyean Clan, Yeallequelleh District-5, Bong County, Liberia that supplies 1,003 residents with safe drinking water and a modern toilet facility to reduce waterborne diseases and high risk of dysentery, cholera, Malaria and other infectious diseases. Funding of these projects were generated from donations of kind hearted Liberians and friends of Liberia throughout the year coupled with our 1st annual gala held on March 30, 2013 in Sinkor, Monrovia. The total amount spent to complete this project was $13,302.50.
Note* The Town announced during the dedication ceremony of the projects that for the past 40 years, the town drank from a narrow stream that flows through a drainage that is contaminated with both human and animal feces thus causing lot of infant motilities and death in the town.
Background of Pleemu Town, Bong County, Liberia:
Pleemu town is a fairly large town with seven surrounding villages in Yeallequelleh District #5, Bong County. It reports a population of approximately 1,003. Prior to the completion of the CBF projects, townspeople had limited access to clean, fresh drinking water, and the nearby forest is where many used as restrooms.
The absence of public latrines, the cross-contamination of the main water source – bathing, washing laundry, cooking – poses a serious public health hazard to the residents of Pleemu. This threat is potentially fatal for vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly. This treat is further complicated by the fact that people defecate randomly in and around the town, thereby attracting flies and other vectors that causes, diarrhea, amebiasis, thyroid fever, etc.
In addition to sanitary and environmental challenges relating to public latrine and clean water, the following were noted:
- Approximately 75% of the children between ages three to 10 years of age who reside in Pleemu are not enrolled in school. This data was collected while Foundation officers distributed gifts to students.
- During this time, CBF officers conducted a random survey of school attendance. The data collected from the survey suggest that out of the 105 children in Pleemu town, only 10 are enrolled in school and this data also accounted for the students who were absent from school on the day of the survey. Moreover, those in school have to walk two hours to and from school every day.
- Access to health care services is also a challenge. According to residents, when people get sick they have to walk 5 hours to seek medical care at the only clinic in proximity to the town.
- Pleemu consists of 103 homes, no school, no clinic, no public or private latrine and a broken hand pump. The nearest school is 2.5 hours and over ten miles to the nearest health clinic.