By: Edwin T. K. Dolo – INSIGHT NEWS ONLINE.
Health Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale said the Liberian populace shares a large portion of blame for the poor sanitation and hygienic condition of the City of Monrovia and its surroundings. Dr. Gwenigale said while it is true
that Government has struggled to provide adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, Liberian themselves are doing little to mend the situation. He alluded that many houses that are built in Monrovia and its environs do not have toilet facilities and as a result, occupants have to go about defecating in the grasses around their surroundings. Dr. Gwenigale made the assertion Monday at the Health Ministry in Congo Town, when he received a petition from the Liberia Civil Society, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network.
The petitioned called on the Liberian Government to keep their promises to take action to end the water and sanitation crisis in the Country. The Health Minister commended the group for the stand and pledged that the Ministry will work towards implementing their task on the improvement of the WASH Sector. Reading the petition Statement Monday at the Health Ministry in Congo Town, the Chairman of the WASH CSOs Prince Kreplah called on the Government through the Health Ministry to accelerate action towards providing sanitation and water to all. The WASH CSOs pointed out that the Government has done little to implement a large portion of the Liberia WASH Compact a document signed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to improve the WASH Sector.
The Liberia WASH Compact calls for, among other things, the establishment of a Water and Sanitation Commission and Board which will oversee the activities of the WASH sector.
The implementation of the Compact will come to an end in May of this year. The Group in their petition statement indicated that over 30 percent of the population of Liberia does not have access to safe drinking water, 85 percent lack safe sanitation facilities, and about 1.7 million people defecate in the open due to lack of latrine.
The WASH-CSOs called on the line ministries and agencies involved in the WASH sector improvement to construct more water and sanitation facilities at Schools and other communities.