To Restore Water Supply In Cape Mount: Dr. Cassell Gives L$2M To Striking LWSC Employees
The Political Leader of the newly established People’s Liberation Party (PLP), Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, has presented a cheque of US$11,310 (approximately L$2 million) to striking employees of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) assigned in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, as compensation to encourage them to resume normal operation for the provision of water to residents of the area.
The amount presented to the aggrieved LWSC employees is equivalent to L$1,922,700 at the exchange rate of US$1 to L$170.
It can be recalled that aggrieved employees at the LWSC site in Robertsport recently staged a go-slow action by shutting down operation at the facility in demand of their over five-month salary arrears, owed them by the corporation.
Their action prevented the supply of water for cooking, drinking and other purposes to thousands of residents of the county.
Dr. Cassell made the presentation of the amount when he visited the striking workers in Cape Mount on Tuesday, March 16.
Making the presentation, the Liberian humanitarian disclosed that the gesture was intended to bring some level of relief to the striking workers and citizens of the county, who trek long distances to fetch water from nearby creeks and other areas. He added that the streams are not safe for citizens to fetch water for cooking, drinking and other purposes.
Dr. Cassell noted that, despite the current situation between authorities of the LWSC and the aggrieved employees, it was prudent to make an intervention to alleviate the constraints the citizens were faced with.
He described water as “life”, but blamed the strike action on the delay by government to find an amicable solution to the issues raised by its employees in an adequate and timely manner.
Dr. Cassell added that the situation imposed suffering on the citizens of that area since, in fact, the wells and streams are not conducive for fetching water.
“This was brought to our attention by our County Chair last night, and so we feel a sense of commitment to our people of Robertsport for the simple fact that they have been out of water for a week now due to some situation between the management and the government. We thought it wise to come and intervene to help resolve the problem. Despite what may be going on internally, it is our citizens who are suffering.
“This is a noble cause, and I’m happy that by the special grace of God we are in the position to come and help our citizens. We want them to resume services and open the lines for our people to continue to receive safe-drinking water, because water is life. After we spoke with our officials here and the site manager, we didn’t wait any longer to come and help our people.”
Speaking to reporters shortly after the presentation of the cheque, the PLP Vision Bearer questioned the decision taken by authorities of the LWSC to remain mute on the employees’ plight, even though “water is so vital to life”.
He pointed out that his intervention was based upon his Biblical responsibility: always extend the helping hand to those in need.
“God is going to provide the needs of my fellow citizens through me. I am just a messenger. I am the man of my word; I have integrity and character, and when I see problems, as God directs me or I am in the position to help, I will help because that’s my Biblical responsibility.”
Dr. Cassell noted that it remains the sole responsibility of government to make its people happy and, as such, problems must be solved through concrete actions in the interest of the citizenry.
Receiving the cheque, the Site Manager of the LWSC’s facility in Robertsport, Roland T. C. Washington, commended Dr. Cassell for the gesture.
According to him, employees of the LWSC assigned in Grand Cape Mount have been faced with numerous constraints due to the delay in the payment of their salary arrears by the Liberian government.
He expressed disappointment over the failure of authorities of the LWSC and local government officials in the county to come up with remedies to address their grievances.
Washington pointed out that promises were made that their salary arrears would have been cleared last February, but nothing has been done by government to live up to this commitment.
He added that though numerous communications were sent out prior to the strike action, but nobody showed any concern to discourage the aggrieved employees from staging the go-slow action.
“We appreciate the foundation coming in to help the situation. We have been working for five months now and we have not received our salaries, that rent, current bills and everything comes from. We are, like, frustrated. I want to say bravo and thank you so much,” Washington told humanitarian Dr. Cassell.
Washington, however, vowed to ensure that his colleagues return to work as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, citizens of Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, have lauded Dr. Cassell for “thinking” about them in times of need. They vowed to remember him in their prayers and help support his dream.