Stakeholders to Review WASH Sector

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Participants posed after the press conference, held at the Ministry of Public Works

As part of efforts to mitigate challenges in the water sanitation and hygiene sector (WASH) in the country, stakeholders will on Thursday, May 10-11 hold a two-day Joint Sector Review (JSR) conference in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

The deputy minister for Rural Development at the Ministry of Public Works Benjamin Banto said actors in the WASH sector would review activities and progress made over the years.

Minister Banto named some international partners in the sector, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), WaterAid, Work Bank, Irish Aid and the United Nations Development Plan (UNDP), among others.

He said national partners that are conducting research  include: ministries of Education, Health, Public Works, Finance and Development Planning, National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, among others.

Minister Banto explained that the JSR is a process, which involves the development of reports, county-level consultations and field research by over 40 researchers.

During the JSR, he said, stakeholders engage in considerable discussions; “status report and progress, in the form of evidence-based information, is reviewed.

Priority actions are agreed, and these feed into a national planning context including the new ‘pro-poor agenda’ for prosperity and development,” he added.

The Public Works official noted that, after missing out on three years of review, the CDC-led government could not plan in vacuum, as there is currently no document to reference and benchmark the WASH sector.

Minister Banto said stakeholders would agree actions and the outcomes would be articulated in a document called “One WASH Plan.”

He expressed the belief that the “One WASH Plan” will be used as the single instrument for resource mobilization to fund water projects, provide sanitation, build capacity of institutions and ensure the sustainability of all interventions.

He then acknowledged the continuous support of international partners to the sector, and encouraged them to continue.

In several remarks, WaterAid deputy country director Chuchu Selma pledged his organization’s support to the process, stressing the need to consolidate activities of WASH in addressing the health situation associated with poor WASH services.

Mr. Selma spoke of the importance for interventions to reach the poor and that the “pro-poor agenda” should not only be providing for the poor, but should also make them part of the agenda.

Jefferson Koijee, Monrovia City mayor, lauded the organizers of the event and disclosed that MCC technicians have been working to research, develop and complete a full chapter on solid waste management within the sector performance report.

Mayor Koijee said the report outlines the role of the city government, its activities and recommended actions to be undertaken in the areas of WASH during the coming fiscal period.

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