By: WASH R&E “MEDIA” Network – The British charity, WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone says access to safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) remains cardinal, and has commenced the implementation of programs for fiscal year 2017-2018.
The implementation of programs under WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone started with the holding of Partners Planning Meeting in Monrovia.
According to the charity Country Director, Patrick Cheah, at the end of the Meeting a robust monitoring of partners performance was carried out as a means of reviewing their activities for the past fiscal year.
Mr. Cheah said as a means of commencing the programs officially for the year, partners agreement was signed with local partners both from Liberia and Sierra Leone.
He said the charity has concluded some arrangements for a winter appeal, the winter appeal is basically WaterAid’s efforts aimed at supporting two countries with WASH programmes.
The Country Director said the winter appeal is a request to the British public which is cumulated with fund raising matched with the United Kingdom.
Mr. Cheah noted that the winter appeal targets Sierra Leone, adding once the proposal is accepted by the UK, the 1.5 million pounds project implementation will begin in 2018.
For Liberia, the charity boss said his entity was successful in receiving a grant from Irish Aid to carry out water point mapping earlier this year.
He disclosed his entity completed two studies in Liberia which have to do with urban Scoping Studies and Environment Health Impact Assessment Studies in Grand Cape Mount county.
Mr. Cheah indicated that the two studies are very crucial to his organization’s operation.
He asserted that the two studies are important because, WaterAid is looking for way to extend its operation to other areas in Liberia.
He said the charity has prepared concepts and proposal that will be eventually turned over to donors as a means of scouting for funds for its activities in Liberia.
Internally, he added that WaterAid is working closely with its advocacy partners to ensure the passage of the WASH Bill at the Liberian Senate.
He said the bill has been passed by the House of Representatives and as part of efforts to make sure the senate passes the water act, there are consultations ongoing with local advocacy groups and the Liberian Senate.
“We at WaterAid will continue to transform lives by championing and improving access to safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)”, Mr. Cheah stressed.
He also named the review of WaterAid’s activities under the Swedish Grant by a team that came in country to see and the impact, especially for beneficiaries.
Speaking of challenges, Mr. Cheah said the reduction in the percentage of funding for FY 2017-2018 is a major huddle for the implementation of programs by the entity.
In Liberia, he indicated that funding has dropped to 38 percent, while in Sierra Leone to 49 percent.
He said due to the funding gap, all programs in the two countries have been decreased.
Due to this, Liberia’s Program is only restricted to five counties with the anticipation of extending it when the necessary funding are made available.
The charity indicated that major barrier it has as one of the several challenges is to ensure water, sanitation and health programs are implemented effectively.
He assured that WaterAid will continue to engage donors to influence government to ensure that it meets up with commitments made which is aimed at improving the WASH sector of Liberia.
Mr. Cheah said working across the two countries has added more vigor to the entity to exert all efforts in making sure it reaches its goals.
In Liberia WaterAid is working with local partners to provide access to safe water and toilets in remote communities.
The charity described these basic services as the building blocks for health, education and livelihoods.
The charity disclosed it will focus on reaching women and girls who have to face long and dangerous journeys to find water or a place to go to the toilet, and will ensure facilities are accessible to all, including those with disabilities.
The charity interventions in Liberia last year has impacted 13,000 people with safe water, 11,000 people with improved sanitation.