…Expresses frustration about GOL Boycott of the Forum – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – The Liberia NGOs Network (LINNK) has held Citizens Engagement Dialogue Forum in partnership with WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The Forum was held under the theme: “Water for Sustainable Growth“, in line with the celebration of the 2016 World Water Week held in Stockholm, Sweden.
It was also part of ongoing efforts by Liberia’s WASH sector actors aimed at creating an enabling environment for water, sanitation and hygiene.
The Forum also focused on efforts by local WASH actors putting in place a governance structure for the sector and making budgetary appropriation for water and sanitation in the National Budget of the country.
Providing an overview of the Dialogue, the National Chairman of the Liberia NGOs Network said securing access to WASH services for a growing and demanding population will create job opportunities for many Liberians.
Mr. George B. Karyah indicated that if Government of Liberia focuses on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), it will result to productivity and also ensure maximum health impact, mainly on women, children elderly and people living with disabilities.
Speaking at the Forum over the weekend, Mr. Karyah said it’s intended to give citizens first-hand information about the current state of affairs of WASH service delivery in Liberia.
The LINNK Chairman noted that over the past time some progress has been made through WASH advocacy by local NGOs to solve the issues of fragmentation and lack of financing in the sector.
He named the Bill passage by the House of Representatives of an Act calling for the establishment of a WASH Commission and budgetary allocation in the fiscal budget as some of the achievements in the sector.
Mr. Karyah however said the boycott of the Forum by some government officials is unhealthy for efforts in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector of the country.
He said action on the part of some of these officials is counterproductive to the aspiration of the Liberian people.
Mr. Karyah however encouraged Liberians to engage national leaders on issues affecting them for the necessary changes to be made; adding advocating for change is a constitutional right under the Laws of Liberia.
For his part, the Agriculture Coordinator of LINNK, Winston Carter described water as a source of life and as such it should be given the necessary attention by relevant government institutions.
Mr. Carter informed participants attending the program, including students to ensure that vital information provided to them should be used as tools for advocacy
Speaking on behalf of Association of Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL), the Advocacy and Communications Officer, D. Sonpon Weah reminded Liberians that it is their right to have access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation.
Mr. Weah called on the Government of Liberia to be proactive ensuring that WASH is improved in Liberia for the underprivileged to have access to WASH facilities.
Also speaking participants and students commended the Liberia NGOs Network for taking on the initiative to host such a Forum.
They indicated the Forum provided vital information to them concerning the status, challenges and achievements made in the WASH sector of Liberia.
The Citizens Engagement Dialogue Forum was supported by the British charity, WaterAid as part of its advocacy Program in Liberia to improve WASH service delivery in the country.