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Engineers start work on Liberian water plan

DISASTER RELIEF engineers have started work to rehabilitate water and sewerage systems in war torn Liberia.

Over 100,000 refugees were expected to return to their villages as Nigerian and American peace keepers arrived.

Emergency infrastructure rehabilitation plans will have to be flexible because it has not been safe for anyone to assess war damage to villages, Robert Hodgson, vice chairman of engineers disaster relief charity RedR, said.

Hodgson returned from Liberian capital Monrovia last month after a secondment to international medical charity Merlin. He has been working on a rehabilitation plan that will be put into action as peace returns.

'We are planning for several different eventualities, ' Hodgson said. He explained that damaged wells might need to be dug out and vandalised hand operated water pumps required repairs.

He added that many of the sewage systems could also have been destroyed or vandalised, or have suffered from years of neglect.

Hodgson was taken out of Liberia in an emergency air lift last week after intense fighting in the capital raised fears for the safety of nonnationals. However, while there he successfully initiated projects to provide crowded refugee camps with latrines and water storage facilities to help people who had fled their homes.

INFOPLUS For a detailed report by Robert Hodgson of the vital engineering challenges faced by a post-conflict Liberian administration, visit www. nceplus. co. uk/magazine

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