The WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia has ended a 2-Day Refresher Workshop for over 20 Liberian Journalists from various media institutions on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reportage.
The Workshop was aimed at building the capacity of WASH journalists to effectively cover WASH issues and bring to national platform critical issues in the sector.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Assistant Public Works Minister for Community Services, George Yarngo urged the WASH Media practitioners to double their passion in reporting those issues affecting the WASH sector of the country.
According to him, the media plays a vital role in transforming the lives of Liberians through their respective outlets in reporting on the WASH sector.
Assistant Minister Yarngo further said the WASH Media has brought the issue of WASH to the public, something he noted is commendable.
He indicated that reportage of the WASH Media can been seen almost every day in every edition of the print media and also heard on the electronic media as well.
He narrated that in the past it was difficult for the media to report WASH stories due to the lack of interest and passion by journalists.
The Public Works Assistant Minister said with the collective efforts of the civil society organizations and the WASH Media Network in disseminating issues about WASH, some changes have occurred in the sector.
He further disclosed that government rely on the WASH media and the civil society to unearth issues that are very relevant to the society.
Also speaking, WaterAid Policy Officer, Patience Zayzay said her entity has been engaged in advocacy and evidence based campaign work in the WASH sector to bring about improvement in the sector.
She disclosed that the WASH Media and Civil Society Organizations have contributed immensely to the success of the work of WaterAid in Liberia.
According to Miss Zayzay, WaterAid’s Vision is about ensuring that everyone in the world has access to clean water and improved sanitation both in the urban and rural areas.
She also asserted that Liberia has made several international commitments, especially the Sustainable Development Goals (STGs) is one of those commitments, indicating that there is a need for the government to domesticate these protocols it signed unto.
For his part, the Chairman of the Liberia CSOs WASH Network, Prince Kreplah wants the Media and Civil Society to continue to work collectively to bring out issues affecting the WASH sector.
Mr. Kreplah said Civil Society voices and the media reportage on WASH have increased, but stressed the need for more to be done to mitigate critical issues in the sector.
According to him, the WASH sector still has major challenges of attracting top Cabinet Ministers and the entire government to ensure the implementation of those policies, including the establishment of a WASH Commission or Ministry.
Also Speaking at the two-Day WASH Media Refresher Workshop, the Managing Editor of the Inquirer News Paper, Philip Wesseh challenged reporters to go after those health stories as a means of improving the country health delivery system.
Mr. Wesseh described WASH as a health issue and said it is through the Media that the public will get to know happenings in the of country.
Mr. Wesseh also urged the various Editors to prioritize WASH stories because they positively affect everybody including Media personnel residing in the various communities.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the WASH Reporter & Editors Network of Liberia, Augustine Myers said the workshop was part of the Network’s routine activities.
Mr. Myers said the WASH Media Refresher Workshop is also designed to look at challenges and prospects within the sector, among others.
He extolled WaterAid for the support to successfully conduct the 2-Day intensive Refresher and Capacity Building WASH Media Workshop.
The 2-Day Media Refresher Workshop on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), organized by the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E), was held in partnership with the Liberia Media Empowerment & Advocacy Foundation (LIMEAF INC.)
It was held under the theme: “Passion and Priority for WASH Journalism in Liberia”
With support from WaterAid, Member of the Liberia WASH Consortium.
The Workshop was held in the Conference Room of the WASH Media Network in central Monrovia from May 27-28, 2016.