LIBERIA: WASH Consortium holds strategic board meeting

……Proposes 30 Million Five-Year Strategy Plan – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – The Liberia WASH Consortium, a Group of International Non-Governmental Organisations working with the Liberian government to increase access to water, sanitation and hygiene services across the country, has held its Strategy Board Meeting to provide updates on activities in Liberia.

Group photo of Members of the Liberia WASH Consortium at the close of the Strategy Board Meeting

Group photo of Members of the Liberia WASH Consortium at the close of the Strategy Board Meeting

The Meeting held over the weekend at the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, discussed Advocacy & Knowledge Management, Capacity Development and Service Delivery amongst other tangible issues of the Liberia Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Consortium.

At the Meeting which was well attended by its members and other WASH sector actors, a five-year Strategy Plan was presented at the cost of 30 million United States dollars. The Proposed Plan consists of three Strategic Objectives which the Liberia WASH Consortium is expected to use as a tool to conduct its Programmes in the country.

Under Strategic Objective one, the Liberia WASH Consortium promised to be more proactive in policy and advocacy work, linking field work to national level advocacy and international campaigns.
The Liberia WASH Consortium also revealed that it hopes to achieve this by supporting Civil Society Organizations to carry out WASH Budget Tracking, Monitoring and Implementation of Sector Strategic Plan, Strengthening Active Citizenship to hold leaders accountable to pledges and County Budget Commitments, conducting research and advocacy on gender and disability to strengthen debate awareness in Liberia on issues faced by marginalized groups and people.

The Liberia WASH Consortium also noted that under this objective it also anticipates to promote integrated programming models in WASH Livelihoods, guide innovations in the sector and upscale best practices and communicate its model as an effective means for meeting developments agenda.

For Strategic Objective two, it specifically deals with capacity development to improve systems and structure at Community, District, County and National levels to plan, deliver and monitor sustainable WASH activities including WASH in schools.

The Liberia WASH Consortium said 35% of its efforts targeted about 2000 key WASH stake holders who capacity were developed. The Group however said it would provide adequate and value support to complement efforts of government and partners.

The Liberia WASH Consortium further said it will also support government in the design, implementation and monitoring of the sector plans including innovative approaches to programming, monitoring and evaluation, developing, disseminating and leading on the use of national standards.

It also spoke of coordinating, monitoring and providing technical support to a wider range of non-governmental organizations of the WASH sector, strengthen the capacity of local CSOs in WASH service delivery and advocacy, and strengthen community based structures to exercise ownership, maintenance and cost recovery.

Strategic Objective three of the Consortium’s five-year Plan says 30% of its efforts will target one million people with the aim of them having equitable access to improved water and sanitation services and practice safe hygiene.

The Liberia WASH Consortium further said it will continue to ensure professional leadership in sustainable provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in line with highest standards, rely on the complementarity of geographic locations, skills and expertise to bring sustained change to the lives of WASH beneficiaries taking into account technical models for implementation.

The Consortium said it also plans to achieve by increasing number of underserved people using safe drinking water sources, include adapted solutions for small remote communities and schools and urban slum communities through rain water harvesting, bio sand filters and mini water systems.

Reducing open defecation and increasing the number of underserved people using improved sanitation facilities by promoting Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), and sanitation marketing approaches, employ innovative sustainable approaches in urban areas and to also increase the number of underserved people practicing safe hygiene through structured approach to hygiene.

The Liberia WASH Consortium also disclosed that it shall become a more dynamic force driving its work from membership base and partners, working under the guidance of a strong Central Coordination Team, promising to leave its mark on the soil of Liberia.

The Liberia WASH Consortium was set up in 2007 in response to the poor WASH access, lack of harmonization and coordination in the sector, insufficient national policy frameworks and weak government capacities in Liberia.

The The Liberia WASH Consortium (LWC) was established to also address the issues of the provision of basic WASH services in rural and urban Liberia, building the capacity of National and local institutional for effective coordination and supervision, strengthening community structures and local actors for WASH facility sustainability, WASH policy and strategy development  and  Cholera preparedness and response, among others.