By: Augustine N. Myers – The newly established WASH Media Network known as the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia has been officially launched in Monrovia.
The launch of the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia now paves the way for the full commencement of the Network’s operations and activities across the Country.
At a well attended and colorful launching ceremony Friday at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia, the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Binyah Kesselley delivered the keynote address and cut the ribbon along with the Managing Director of the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation, Benedict Matalda who was represented by his Senior Deputy, to mark the formal launch of the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia.
The key partner of the Network, “WaterAid” together with other stake holders in the WASH Sector, co-launched the Network at the program which was also attended by the Liberia Civil Society Organizations WASH Working Group, the WASH Consortium, prominent individuals from both the public and private sectors, and Liberian Journalists, including media executives, Community leaders and residents and the Liberian Student Community, which includes High Schools and Universities.
The Program was graced by Heads and Officials of the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation, Public Works Ministry, Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the Ministry of Planning & Economic Affairs, and the Evangelical Children Rehabilitation Program (ECREP).
Others were the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), the Cater Center, Liberia Media Initiative, Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, both Houses of the National Legislature, WaterAid, Oxfam, WASH Consortium, CSOs WASH Working Group, Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), and the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT), among others.
Remarks were made by almost all the dignitaries attending the program who welcomed the initiative of Liberian Media Practitioners and described it as timely and significant, and pledged their support to the Network.
The WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia is hosted and coordinated by the Liberia Media Empowerment & Advocacy Foundation (LIMEAF Inc.) with an initial membership of 50 Media Institutions.
The Network among other things, seeks to:
-Increasing the understanding of journalists on water, sanitation and hygiene issues;
-Providing the platform for members to play their watchdog role in holding government and relevant stakeholders accountable to the people in the implementation of WASH Programs; and
-Ensuring increased media coverage and reportage on the WASH Sector.
The decision to network as journalists is based on their own social and national responsibility as Media Practitioners and as part of a professional call of duty to join efforts with the Liberian Government, local and International partners aimed at achieving the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with respect to the WASH Sector.
The WASH R&E Network which comprises reporters and editors within the media landscape of Liberia, remains fully cognizant of the urgent need to attract robust media attention on issues promoting water, sanitation and hygiene, and inform, educate and entertain the public for the aggressive need to ensure active media participation and involvement in the WASH Sector through increased media coverage and reportage.