A Travel Nurse Volunteer in Liberia: Clean Water

The Gypsy Nurse is heading to Liberia with Cross Cultural Care as a travel nurse volunteer.

As you probably already read, I’m volunteering in Liberia.  I plan to bring you along with me; virtually and give you a ‘feet on the ground’ accounting of the entire process.

It’s a premium product here: Clean Water

Robertsport is surrounded by water…with Lake Piso (the largest lake in Liberia) feeding into the Atlantic Ocean. However, there is no running water in most of Robertsport.  The locals obtain water for drinking, laundry, cooking and bathing from a local stream.  Although there is a huge lake of water…the lake water isn’t safe due to the lack of sanitation.  I would assume that garbage and sewage permeate its waters.

At the C3 House here in Robertsport, there is a specific system for maintaining clean water for drinking and cooking.  Water is delivered twice weekly from an old UN water storage outside of town. This water is ‘chlorinated’ and utilized for drinking and cooking, dishes and laundry.  It’s delivered on Monday’s and Thursdays; rationing is key.  The local rate for a 5 gallon container of delivered water is $35LD per container. (The current conversion is $85.5LD:$1USD) So, for aprox $2 USD you can fill 10 gallons of water.

The Kuwaa Mission has also been at work at the C3 house

Stan, one of the Board of Directors and volunteers was at the house shortly prior to my arrival and set up a filter system for the C3 residents to be able to filter water.  Water can be brought from the stream above the hospital then filtered to obtain additional clean water for drinking.  Although a bit slow, the filtration process is pretty easy.

Please visit the Kuwaa Mission on Facebook to read more about the work that they are doing in Liberia.

Water Filtration Process 

Note:  Do not filter more than 2 days worth of water at a time, due to safety reasons.

Stan also began to place gutters on the C3 house in order to be able to collect rain water during the rainy season.  Prior to being able to collect rainwater, C3 was paying for water and using the delivered water for washing.

On a Personal Note:

I awoke around 3am on Saturday with a downpour outside.  With water being a primary concern, my first thought upon waking was all the rainwater that was going to waste.  I quickly climbed out of bed and set the collection container beneath the gutter to collect at least some additional water.  When I next awoke at 7:30am, the sun was already shining and the collection container was full.  It’s a process to move the water as I’m not as strong physically as I would like to think.  The process (for me) involves moving the water from the large collection container to a smaller 5 gal bucket then to the bathroom water container which is a 30 gallon plastic can with lid.

Having a new supply of bath water, I felt good about taking a luxurious bucket shower using my fresh rainwater…I’m hoping for additional rain tonight.