A local non-governmental organization, Liberia NGO Network (LINNK), has intensified its advocacy to educate Liberians about their rights to access basic social services including safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Dale George, LINNK’s program officer, who addressed Doe Community residents during a town hall meeting over the weekend, informed them on the importance of engaging policymakers, stakeholders and government about their rights to access safe drinking water, sanitation and toilet facilities in their respective communities. The latest edition of the LINNK advocacy initiative took place in the swampy Doe Community on Bushrod Island, where issues of water and sanitation remain unresolved.
“It is the role of policymakers, stakeholders and government to effectively play their role to ensure that the community gets those basic services, including water, sanitation and hygiene facilities that have not existed in those areas over the years,” George said. He decried the use of undeveloped swampland and bushy footpaths as toilets, adding that it is discouraging for the people to continuously defecate on toilets built on the swamp, at times in the open. “It is regrettable to see residents practicing open defecation, which poses serious health hazards for them,” he added. He stressed the need for the community’s leadership to engage the relevant government ministries and agencies to ensure that basic WASH facilities are constructed to alleviate the situation. He also challenged the residents to constructively engage politicians who are vying for various political positions on their plans for the community as it relates to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Satta Kamara, women’s president of the community, expressed gratitude to LINNK for providing “an eyeopening platform” for them, adding that the women of Doe Community are prepared to advocate for their rights to ensure that WASH services are provided to them.