GoL Hold 4th WASH joint sector review
The Liberian Government has climax the 4th Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Joint Sector Review. The Joint Sector Review looks at challenges, successes and prospects in the WASH sector of Liberia.The sector review this year aimed at formulating a one plan for water, sanitation and hygiene across the country.
Speaking during a press conference Thursday, Deputy Public Works Minister for Rural Development, Benjamin Banto, said over the last decades Joint Sector Reviews have emerged as a way of coordinating stakeholders in a particular sector.
Mr. Banto said the JSR is a joint learning process, data gathering decision making and for building consensus.
He noted that Joint Sector Reviews are one of the few country-level mechanisms that can bring about mutual accountability at the country level.
Deputy Minister Banto revealed that the Government of Liberia has been unable to host the WASH Joint Sector Review for the past three years because of the lack of funding.
Also speaking, UNICEF Liberia Deputy Country Representative, Samuel Mawunganidze, said it is a great honor for his organization to be a part of the 4thJSR of the water, sanitation and hygiene sector of Liberia.
Mr. Mawunganidze said the issue of safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene is key to the economic growth of any nation.
He said UNICEF as an institution with focus on the welfare of children, it is incumbent on the organization to prioritize the needs of children which of course water, sanitation and hygiene is no exception.
Also making remarks, WaterAid Liberia-Sierra Leone Deputy Country Director, Chuchu Selma, described the holding of the 4thJoint sector Review as an opportunity for sector actors to assemble to discuss issues in the sector.
Mr. Selma said his organization has been working in Liberia with WASH actors since 2009 to ensure that service delivery is improved and that basic WASH facilities provided to the poorest of the poor in Liberia.
Commenting on behalf of the Monrovia City Government, the City Mayor, Jefferson Koijee pledged the support of the Monrovia City Corporation to the holding of the Joint Sector Review.
Mayor Koijee also commended WASH actors including Civil Society Organizations and international partners for been supportive of the sector review.
At the 4th Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Joint Sector Review which was held in the port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa brought together WASH actors from the 15 political sub-divisions of the country.
The 2-day event was held on May 10 and 11, 2018.
The objective of the JSR according to the Liberian government, was to identify and agree on sector priorities by reviewing the progress against key strategic plans and reflecting on sector performance.
Making remarks during the program, the Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Tolbert Nyenswah urged the government to play a leadership role aimed at providing safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene in the country.
Mr. Nyenswah said WASH is key to the provision of health services in the country and challenged government to support the WASH sector through the National Budget to enhance the work of the sector.
The NPHIL Executive Director also urged President George Weah to name a WASH Commissioner to drive issues of the sector forward.
According to him, WASH plays a pivotal role in the fight against diseases, including Ebola virus.
In remarks at the start of the Joint Sector Review, the Chief of Child Survival and Development at UNICEF, Dr. Kamrul Islam reaffirmed UNICEF’s support to the WASH sector of the country.
Dr. Islam said increased access in the WASH sector is critical to the development of Liberia, adding that no country can develop without a proper WASH Policy.
Providing his entity’s view on the holding of the program, Mr. Selma said his organization remains a strong partner in the sector to ensure sustainable services are rendered.
For her part, Irish Aid Program Officer, Teta Lincoln said good governance, partnership, and sector coordination are key to a successful implementation in the WASH sector.
Madam Lincoln said long-term commitment from the government is needed to mobilize local resources as well as a multi stakeholders partnership in moving the WASH sector forward.
She also used the occasion to call on the government of Liberia to appoint commissioners to the WASH Commission.
The 4th WASH Joint Sector Review was held under the theme: “Delivering Pro-Poor Safely Managed and Sustainable WASH Services”, with a focus on the creation of a ‘One WASH Plan’.
The event began with thematic discussions among government’s representatives, donor partners, technical and civil society actors.
The JSR looked at the status of the expired Sector Strategic Plan (SSP) of 2012-2017, determined the extent of interventions carried out by partners relative to achieving the undertaking set forth by JSR-3.
Also, it provided an opportunity for Liberia to set its national Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets for Goal Six through the ‘One WASH Plan’ as well as develop a list of priorities by county through a cost and signed annual work program.
Thematic areas discussed at the Review include Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Implication for Planning and Policy, presented by UNICEF, working effectively together for the SDGS-One WASH Planning presented by USAID Mission Director.
The WASH political actors said, the One WASH Plan will serve as a resource document for the government and its partners which will provide a clear direction on the form and manner by which service providers will be guided in terms of service delivery.
At the close of the WASH Review, Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee added his voice to WASH CSOs and others calling for the appointment of Commissioners of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission in Liberia.
Mayor Koijee said the Commission will monitor and supervise the WASH sector and find remedy for sustainable growth within the sector.
The Mayor further noted that the WASH Commission will provide a safe and improve environment for all, something he said is key to the government Pro-Poor Agenda.
According to Mayor Koijee, adequate drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene are all essential ingredients to ensure human health.