Monrovia Liberia – The Africa Ministerial Council on water has commenced a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on sanitation in Liberia.
The meeting is aimed at strengthening the enabling environment, including increased investment, enhancing the capacity of national authorities and updating legal and policy frameworks for regulating sanitation systems.
The Africa Ministerial Council on Water has described sanitation as key to improvement of the WASH sector of member countries
Speaking at the meeting, AMCOW Sanitation Manager Kich Bawa said Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) demonstrate the processes and content of what an ideal sanitation policy should incorporate and will set best practices for the future.
Mr. Bawa said the consultative meeting will highlight the roles that a comprehensive sanitation policy can play in the immense task of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 and the need for a sanitation policy guideline.
AMCOW Sanitation Manager further said the meeting will provide the overview of the state of sanitation policies on the continent and raise awareness on the importance of the Africa Sanitation Policy guide Line amongst others.
For his part , the Board Chair of the WASH Commission, Public Works Minister, Mobutu Nyenpan said the George Weah led Administration will ensure that the WASH Commission receives the necessary support in carrying out its function in Liberia.
“Despite the financial challenges faced by the government of Liberia, we will continue to provide resources that are needed to have the commission functional”, the chairman Added.
He commended international partners for the level of support to the WASH sector of the country.
The WASH Commission Board Chair said the meeting by AMCOW in Liberia is timely due to the threat the world faces with the outbreak of the Corona Virus.
Minister Nyenpan also called on the WASH Commission to adopt policy and measures in the fight against the Coronavirus.
He praised AMCOW for organizing the meeting and assured them of Government cooperation in the process.
Making remarks, the chairman of the Legislative WASH Caucus, Grand Bassa County Senator, Jonathan Kaipay called on President Geoerge Weah to consider water, sanitation and hygiene issues as an emergency.
Senator Kaipay asserted that when this is done, the issues of WASH will take a whole new dimension.
He said as the Legislative WASH caucus, they have observed the overlapping of function by some line ministries and agencies thus hampering the function of the WASH Commission.
“The caucus is working on policy issues that enable the commission to exercise its role of regulating the sector effectively”. Senator Kaipay said.
Also speaking, Gender Minister Willimina Saydee Tarr said the investment in WASH will help reduce the burden on government.
Minister Tarr expressed the willingness of her ministry to work with WASH stakeholders to ensure necessary actions are taken to address WASH issues affecting women and children in Liberia.
Making remark, Water Aid Country Director, Chuchu Selma said the meeting has afforded Liberia the opportunity to give high premium to the issue of sanitation.
Selma said the meeting will enable stakeholders to design strategy intended to tackle the issue of sanitation in Liberia, thus bringing some level of improvement to sanitation.
“My organization is committed to the process and will provide the necessary support to the WASH Commission and the sector at large”, Selma indicated.
Also speaking, the Liberia WASH Civil Society Network reminded government that expressing support to the WASH sector should not be a political statement, but a statement that will be implemented fully.
The Chairman of the WASH CSO Network, Augustine Myers reminded government that his organization will follow up on the statement made by the government through the WASH Commission Board Chair, Mubutu Nyenpan that the needed support is giving to the sector.
Mr. Myers commended AMCOW for the bold step to organize the sanitation stake holders meeting. “The meeting will create a the platform and mitigate issues relating to sanitation in the WASH sector of Liberia” Myers added ensure
Making remarks, the Chairman of the WASH Commission of Liberia, Bobby Whitefield commended AMCOW for holding such a meeting in Liberia.
The WASH Commission Chief Executive Officer assured AMCOW that the commission will do all it can to ensure the full implementation of the guidelines and policy of Africa Ministerial Council on Water sanitation initiative across the continent of Africa.
The African Ministerial Council on Water was formed in 2002 in Abuja, Nigeria primarily to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development and poverty eradication amongst member states through the effective management of the continent’s water resources and provision of water supply services.