..Technical Working Group formed to address issues from the Forum – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – A technical working group has been established by the Government of Liberia and partners at the just ended WASH BAT workshop in Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County.
The working group was formed at the end of a 3-Day workshop organized by the Government of Liberia and UNICEF.
The three-day gathering was aimed at addressing bottlenecks in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector of Liberia.
The Ministry of Public Works heads the group, while Internal Affairs Ministry and the four counties attending the workshop serve as members.
The workshop was also aimed at conducting WASH Bottleneck Analysis for four counties, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount and Montserrado.
The workshop focused on identifying the bottleneck in an enabling environment, determining actions to remove them and develop cost action plan to remove priority bottleneck.
In an interview with the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, Assistant Public Works Minister for Community Services, George Yarngo said the WASH sector, like many other sectors is faced with numerous challenges that need serious attention from government and partners to address.
Assistant Minister Yarngo described financing, human resource, governance structure and capacity building among others as crucial problems confronting the WASH sector.
He said discussing this issue over the year brought about the creation of the WASH BAT Analysis by UNICEF.
The tool according to him, analyses and trashes out critical issues in the WASH sector.
The Assistant Minister disclosed that plans are underway to roll out the program to other parts of the country.
According to Assistant Minister Yarngo, when this is done it would bring a clear understanding of county perspective when it comes to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
He said the tool has five blocks which include the policy and strategy, institutional arrangements, financing and budgeting, planning, monitoring and Evaluation learning and capacity development.
Participants of the 3-day workshop were drawn from WASH sector Ministries and Agencies to include the Ministries of Health, Education, Internal Affairs , Gender Development and Social Protection.
Other participants came from Global Communities, UNICEF, USAID, Environmental Protection Agency, United Youth and WASH R&E “Media” Network.
The 3-day gathering was jointly organized by UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Works.
The first version of the WASH Bottleneck Analysis Tool was developed by UNICEF in 2011/12.
In 2015 it was applied in 15 countries focusing on rural water supply and sanitation at national level.
The first version of the tool was based on excel, an online software based WASH BAT 2.0 version was developed, which is simpler, more user friendly and allows greater flexibility.