The Background and Current Projects of LHS
The Liberian Hydrological Service was established in 1972 under the Executive Law which constituted the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy. There are four principle sections under the LHS which enhance the functions the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy for the Liberia Water Sector. The Groundwater (Hydrogeology), Surface water (Hydrology), Hydrometeorology (Rainfall), Water Quality Sections supported by the Hydro-meteorology Maintenance Section make up the LHS. The LHS is faced with many challenges and constraints in the execution of its functions but has strive to make gains in implementing some projects which brought pride, national and international acceptability to the MLM&E.
Current Status of LHS:
There are currently thirty-one (31) gainfully employed Liberians at the Liberian Hydrological Service including the Director. Unlike the period (1974 – 1989) before our civil crisis when over 100 employees were at the Liberian Hydrological Service, the major challenge now is the limited workforce tasked with execution of numerous and major water resources management functions. Attempts are being made to incorporate hydrometric station observers but constrained with limited budgetary allotment for the Ministry. Ten hydro-meteorological observers assigned in four river basins are temporarily being catered to by the NVE project which can fail out any time at the end of the project duration. The logistical constraints adversely impact meeting our timely execution of our numerous national tasks.
The Bureau currently managed three significant Government of Liberia (GOL) and international development partners supported projects:
i.The Coastal Adaptation Project (CAP):
Signed on 6 October 2010 for a duration of five years (2010 – 2014), the National Offices are hosted by the Liberian Hydrological Service. The Director of LHS served as the National Project Director (NPD). With financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Liberia, the Project is to initiate locally appropriate low cost interventions in mitigating and adapting effects of sea erosion in three of Liberia coastal cities, Buchanan in Grand Bassa, Hotel Africa Area of Monrovia in Montserrado and Robertsport in Grand Cape Mount Counties. The project under the management of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy through the Liberian Hydrological Service is piloting the construction of the first “Breakwater Revetment System” along the Atlantic Street in Buchanan City which has progressed to 500 meters of the sea defense structure. It is also piloting “Solar Dryer” Technology in Robertsport to reduce the impacts on mangrove forestry due to use of the mangrove bush for firewood for local fishermen fish drying.
GEF/UNDP is currently providing financial support for the procurement of the remaining rock fragments to complete the pilot in Buchanan and committed to paying for the equipment rental.
ii. The Upgrading of the Hydro-Meteorological Network and Database
This project is a capacity building project for the Liberian Hydrological Service signed with NVE in October 2010. With technical and financial supports from the Norwegian Government through the Norwegian Energy and Water Resources Directorate (NVE), this project seeks to install six hydrometric stations on the six major river basins in Liberia (Mano, Lofa, St. Paul, St. John, Cestos and Cavalla Rivers) and install a minimum of three Automatic Weather Stations (AWSs). Up to date, on four of the river basins, ten (10) hydro-meteorlogical stations have been built, technical training provided to eight (8) staff of LHS and significant amount of equipment and logistics provided to LHS. Through this project, Liberia now joined other West Africa Countries to possess a modern flow measuring equipment, the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and installed the first Automatic Weather Station in Harbel, Margibi County in June 2014.
iii.The GOAL WASH Project (Signed 06 October 2010)
This is our Water Governance Portfolio. It receives international support and intends to create the enabling environment for the reformation of the WASH Sector in Liberia. Its major deliverables centered on the providing of high-level technical assistance to Government of Liberia in the establishment of the National Water Resources and Sanitation Board (NWRSB) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Commission (WSSC).