Liberia: Advanced Training on Water Management Ends In Bong County

Liberia water participants….Partners Form Partnership On Water By: Augustine N. Myers – A week-long Intensive Training on Advanced Integrated Water Resources Management has ended in Gbarnga, Bong County with the formation of a group to foster partnership on water information dissemination.

The Group under the banner, “Liberia-2070 Water for Today, Water for Tomorrow”, includes the Ministries of Lands, Mines & Energy, Public Works, Health, Planning, and Agriculture.

Others include the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, Press Union of Liberia, Environmental Protection Agency and the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation.

A release from the WASH Reporters & Editors Network says the Group will partner to ensure information and education on Integrated Water Resources Management across the Country.

Meanwhile, participants at the just ended week-long Advanced Integrated Water Resources Management Training have described the exercise as a Trainer of Trainers Program, and pledged to serve as ambassadors for water in Liberia.

The participants most of whom are stakeholders in the WASH Sector, at the close of the training acquired a good understanding of key principles and components of Integrated Water Resources Management, and identified critical challenges and solutions for water.

The participants among other things also contributed significantly to the implementation of Liberia’s Integrated Water Resources Management Policy, and the validation of IWRM implementation guidelines.

The participants further resolved to join the pending celebration of World Water Day, scheduled for March 22, 2011, in forming part of the World Walk for Water in Liberia.

This year’s celebration for World Water Day will be held under the global theme: “Water for Cities: responding to the urban challenge, aims to spotlight and encourage governments, organizations, communities and individuals to actively engage in addressing the challenge of urban Water management”.

METHODOLOGY of the 5-day Advanced Integrated Water Resources Management Training highlighted the Analysis of Relevant Documents, Pre-Training Fact-Finding, Customized Lectures, Individual and Group Assignments, Interactive Discussions, Case Studies, Benchmarking/Best Practices, Customized Lecture Notes, and Application of Lessons & Concepts from the course on Overview of IWRM, and Course Evaluation.

Below are specific issues and highlights from the 5-day exercise in Gbarnga, Bong County.

-Integrated groundwater Management which deals with Ground Water Comments, Factors Affecting Groundwater, Groundwater quality protection, Droughts, Aquifers, Groundwater Supply, Groundwater Uses, Challenges in Groundwater Supply,

-POLICY, LEGISLATIVE AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK which deals with Traditional Water Resources Management, Integration, The ‘3’ Pillars of IWRM: Economic Efficiency, Equity & Environmental Sustainability, Policies, WATER POLICY TRANSLATED INTO LAW, Legislation for water quality, Reform of existing legislation, INSTITUTIONAL ROLES, Reforming institutions for better governance, Trans boundary Organizations for Water Resource Management, National apex bodies, River Basin Organizations & Sub -Catchment committee, Regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies, Service providers and IWRM, Role of the private sector, Civil society institutions and community based organizations, Local authorities, BUILDING INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY – Developing human resources, Other areas for capacity building, Water Users’ Association, Regulatory capacity.

-THREATS TO AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS (PART I) among other things focused on Selected Facts About Liberia’s Aquatic Ecosystems, KEY CHALLENGES:COASTAL  ZONE, Encroachment of Wetland Areas, Coastal Erosion, STRATEGIC MEASURES, Develop Action Plan, IMPLEMENTATION REQUIREMENTS, Policy and legal framework, Institutional Framework And Capacity Building, Funding,


-WASTE MANAGEMENT focused on Technologies for Managing Waste, Types of Waste, What is Sanitation?, WHO Definition of Sanitation, FORMS OF SANITATION, Definition of Pollution-Forms, Liberia’s Water and Sanitation Policy: Key Policy Statements, WSS policy statements and strategies, Wastewater and Storm Water Characteristics, Household Wastewater, Greywater, Challenges relating to Waste water management in Liberia, SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT/Challenges in Liberia, STORM WATER MANAGEMENT AND DRAINAGE, Storm Water Drainage/Challenges in Liberia, and Integrated Waste Management.

-Water Quality Assessment focused on Water versus Economic Growth, Access to safe water, Economic implications, Vulnerability of water, Water pollution, Diseases Associated with Water, Water Quality Assessment Framework, Assessing water quality, Monitoring, Categorization of water quality problems, Prioritization of water quality problems, Establishing objectives for water pollution control, Guiding Principles for managing water quality, and National Water Quality Framework, with an end not that water is life, but it must be clean and safe.

-CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN IWRM focused on Clarification of Conflict, Causes of Conflicts, Impact of Unresolved Conflicts, and Conflict Management Strategies.

-Health, and Environmental Impact Assessment of Water and Related Projects

-Water and Effective Partnership focused on The Start Line, Partnerships Skills, The skills of individual staff, Benefits of the Building Effective Partnership, The Informal Partnerships, Formal structures for partnerships, The Process and Structure of Collaboration,

-Overview of Integrated Water Resources Management focused on Major challenges for water managers, Traditional Water Resources Management, Integration, Dublin-principles, Finite and vulnerable resource, Participatory approach, Women’s role, Water as an economic good, and Overriding criteria for IWRM.

-OVERVIEW of WATER QUALITY AND POLLUTION CONTROL focused on Baseline quality, Enabling Environment, THE POLICY, Excepts of Water Quality and Pollution Control in Liberia, Pollution control Regulations, A holistic framework, The ideal & concept, Guiding Principles for pollution control, Mechanisms for Participation and Partnerships, Creating Awareness for Participation, Access to water quality information, A Holistic Approach, International cooperation on water quality and pollution control, Setting Standards and Criteria  for Water quality, Water quality criteria for individual use categories, and Criteria and Guidelines for Water Use.

-WATER RESOURCE ASSESSMENT focused on Cycle Component Concepts, Blue & Green Water-perspective, Ground Water Comments, Key Hydrology “Re-thinking” Areas, Traditional Water Resources Assessment, Modeling, Demand Management and Water Conservation, Levels of application, Water Resources Planning development and management, The planning process, The framework, Across sectors, and responsibility.

-Cross cutting Issues focused on Poverty alleviation, Job creation, Capacity building and skills training, The role of women, Gender Equity, Governance, and finance.

With respective to the COURSE OBJECTIVES, at the end of the course, participants were able to Acquire a good understanding of key principles and components of IWRM, Identify critical IWRM challenges and related solutions, Apply the acquired skills in their area of operation, Effectively communicate the acquired knowledge and tools to others, Contribute significantly to the implementation of Liberia’s IWRM Policy, Contribute meaningfully to the upgrading of Liberia’s IWRM Policy, Identify the key roles their institutions should play in IWRM, and Contribute significantly to the development/validation of IWRM implementation guidelines.