…Several Recommendations Advanced – By: WASH R&E Network-Liberia – A two day workshop organized by the WASH Reporters and Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E) in partnership with the Liberia Media Empowerment and Advocacy Foundation (LIMEAF inc.) with funding from the West Africa WASH Journalists Network, has ended in Monrovia with several recommendations advanced by actors in the WASH sectors as a way forward for the WASH Media Group.
Giving an overview of the 2-day assembly, WASH R&E Chairman, Augustine Myers said the workshop was aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills of Journalists involved in reporting on WASH related issues and to develop a three year strategic plan for the Network.
Mr. Myers said the plan will cover the Network’s activities ranging from 2013 to 2015 and look at achievements, challenges and prospects for Journalists reporting on the WASH Sector.
Various civil society organizations and development partners in the WASH Sector participated in developing the plan, alongside over 40 WASH reporters and editors.
Serving as one of the facilitators of the workshop, the Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia, Charles B. Coffey called on WASH journalists to remain more vigilant in reporting on WASH issues as they are related to basic human rights and also violations.
Presenting papers on the topic “WASH Reporting- Human Rights Aspect”…… a perspective of the West Africa WASH Journalists Network, Mr. Coffey said WASH Journalists should exert all efforts aimed at ensuring that issues related to the abuse of citizens rights to safe drinking water and improved sanitation are highlighted in their reportage always.
Also serving as one of the key facilitators, the Chairman of the Liberia Civil Society Organizations WASH Network, Prince D. Kreplah, lectured on the topic: “Applying Freedom of information Law, Human Rights Based Approach to WASH Reporting and taking a glance at Liberia WASH status”.
He urged the over forty WASH Journalists attending the workshop to use the Freedom of Information law in Liberia as a basis of the coverage of activities in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector of Liberia.
According to the Chairman of Liberia CSOs WASH Network, journalists should also take into consideration human rights based approach in writing about WASH issues, specifically highlighting issues affecting the masses in the country.
Day two of the workshop brought together WASH Journalists, the Civil Society and development partners to put in place a three-year strategy work plan and discuss the way forward for WASH reporting in Liberia.
The participants among other things recommended that the WASH Reporters and Editors focus and increase their reportage on funding been received from the international community to NGOs for water, sanitation and hygiene to know the level of impact on the masses, especially having access to better WASH facilities.
WASH journalists in Liberia were also urged to increase their coverage on the National Legislature, especially on commitments made during the 2011 general and presidential elections and concerning the legislation of a National WASH Policy.
WASH journalists were further urged to increase the level of awareness and sensitization of local communities on the use of water guard, and to also increase WASH media focus on the disabled to have access to WASH facilities.
Also, Liberian WASH journalists were further encouraged to increase their focus on advocacy, communication and capacity building, and at the same time continue to hold government and partners accountable on commitments to improve the WASH sector of Liberia.
WASH journalists were also admonished to increase WASH Media focus on women and children issues with respect to WASH sector equality and accessibility.
The 2-day WASH Journalism Workshop was held under the theme: “Increased WASH Media Focus/Interest”. It was organized by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E), in partnership with the Liberia Media Empowerment & Advocacy Foundation (LIMEAF INC.).
It was supported by the West Africa WASH Journalists Network (WASH – JN), and brought together over 40 WASH reporters and editors on each of the two days, and over 10 WASH sector actors in Liberia during the second day which was strictly interactive with a focus on WASH media advocacy, education, partnership and strategic planning.