The Government of Liberia through the Liberia National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission (WASHC) and the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC) in collaboration with the World Bank, has launched a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) diagnostic report here.
According to a press release issued in Monrovia, the report titled: Unlocking Service Delivery for Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Liberia, among other things, highlights challenges and proffers workable recommendations aimed at improving the WASH sector of the country.
Officially launching the report Monday, 22 November 2021 at a hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia, World Bank Group Liberia Office Country Manager, Dr. Khwima Nthara thanked the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission for organizing the program, which he said, brings energy to the agenda of improving the WASH sector.
He said, “We can solve many of our problems by shining the light on what needs to change and what needs to be done differently by identifying the gap, identifying best practices across the country.”
“And since we are a global institution we believe that one of the contributions we can make to our member countries is by bringing that knowledge out, like the report we are launching today so that we can adjust ourselves as we support member countries like Liberia,” he continued.
To ensure proper engagement that will set the pace of improving the sector, Dr. Nthara indicated that, calls for the involvement of all other stakeholders including civil society organizations that are involved in advocacy, and the government institutions including WASH Commission, LWSC, the Liberian Legislature, and other government partners.
“Because, unless we identify the gaps, unless we identify the best practices, it will be very difficult for us to make an impact as we move forward,” Dr. Nthara stressed.
Coming to the WASH sector itself, the World Bank Country Manager detailed why it is important to develop it particularly to reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity, which he said are the two things that his institution goes by to support member countries.
But also, in particular, he pointed out that the World Bank supports the Government of Liberia in implementing its Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
“As the report found out, there are so many people that do not have quality drinking water and therefore this is the reason why we need to put together our concerted effort by looking at the results of the report and recommendations and come out with implementable operational plans to improve the WASH sector,” Dr. Nthara indicated.
“That we are able to make the necessary quality and institutional reform that demands. As an institution we are hoping that based on this report we can evaluate what more needs to be done in terms of resources to the sector and we will provide more resources to the sector,” Dr. Nthara continued.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the WASH Commission, Amb. Bobby Whitfield, in his opening remarks, addressed the issue of leadership in the WASH sector.
Said Amb. Whitfield: “You will not be in doubt about the leadership of the sector. The WASH Commission was created as the principal government entity to provide leadership for the different players’ sector.”
“Our very first interaction was with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) when we received funding to do a study stating the clarity of roles which was conducted by an expert, that report is available,” he said.
“We have submitted the report to the WASH Legislative Caucus, we have shared that report with the Governance Control Commission, and we have also shared the report with the Commission on Good Governance and the Law Reform”, Amb. Whitfield added.
He explained that for over a decade Liberia has been one of the countries in the world without a regulatory authority in the WASH sector.
He said “we all advocated for it for the past 12 years. It was only under the current ruling establishment headed by His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah that it was actualized.”
He explained that the Commission has been coordinating the sector, organizing regular sector meetings, bringing together stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to disseminate information.
Also, he said, “We have hired a consultant to work with the WASH sector and the Commission to develop a regulatory framework.”
According to him, the framework will set in motion all of the regulatory functions of the Commission, adding that the Commission has also developed a road map and submitted it to the Office of the President.
Speaking further on the WASH Diagnostic report, he said it was time to get great results, because the improvement of the sector is for the greater benefit of the children, saying, 1,000 children keep dying before reaching the age of five years.
Remarking, the Managing Director of the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC), Duannah A. Kamara, thanked the World Bank for the report and said the report is cleared.
Mr. Kamara stated that the report will be taken to the Legislature and he believes that the Government of Liberia will prioritize the report and there will be a budgetary allocation for the WASH sector.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/washc-launches-roadmap-on-ending-open-defecation/–Press release