The Board Chair of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan, has said that the government is committed to ending open defecation.
Nyenpan, who is also the Minister of Public Works, said there is an urgent need to ‘tackle open defecation’ to save lives.
“Our government has been working to build conducive toilet facilities in all communities,” he said.
Mr. Nyenpan made these comments at a program marking the commemoration of World Toilet Day, held in Monrovia on Tuesday, November 19.
In 2013, the United Nations, adopted and passed a resolution recognizing November 19 as an official UN international day. Every year, the day is celebrated with a unique theme. This year, the theme is, “Leaving no one Behind,” with the message that ‘a toilet is not just a toilet, but a life-saver that protects dignity, and an opportunity-maker’.
According to the United Nations, today, around the globe, 4.2 billion people live without safely managed sanitation. With the target to give access to safe sanitation, leaving no one behind, this year’s World Toilet Day was be celebrated across the globe.
The program was supported by Oxfam in Liberia, UNICEF, National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), WaterAid, Concern Worldwide and others.
Johnathan Kaipay, Senate Chair on WASH, said it is time that officials of government develop political will to increase budgetary support to end open defecation.
Vivian Mussah, program Manager of Future Leader Toilet Solution, a Liberian-owned organization, recommended the usage of bio-filtration toilet system, which use air to assist microorganisms, worms and beetles to break up organic material in wastewater with very little or no odor. Clarified wastewater settles at the bottom of the chamber where it is pumped out of the tank.
Madam Mussah said the institution is working with schools and government to tackle open defecation by using the system.
WASH program head, Oxfam in Liberia, Mohammed Massaley, reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to support the WASH commission in ending ‘open defecation.’
He stressed for more budgetary and donor support to the sector.