…Extols WaterAid’s Support to WASH Media Forum – By: Augustine N. Myers – The WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E) has described as successful, the holding of its recent WASH Media Forum with Legislative and Presidential Candidates. The Forum Sponsored by WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone, was respectively held in Montserrado, River Gee, Maryland and Grand Kru Counties.
WASH R&E Network says, all of the engagements with candidates were very successful, especially with the commitments for WASH of majority of the Legislative Candidates, most of whom are now Representatives and senators elect.
The Legislative Candidates at the time pledged to support access to save Water, Improved Sanitation and Hygiene for everyone in Liberia.
During the eight separate programs held in the four Counties, the Candidates “now Legislators-Elect” also respectively signed a Pledge Card on Sanitation and Water for All, recognizing the current lack of access to these basic services is seriously affecting Liberia’s development.
The Law Makers-elect realized that Health, education, tourism, the environment and other sectors cannot progress until Water and Sanitation which are basic Rights Too, are fully respected, protected and promoted.
The Legislators-Elect say they fully support the principles of the Liberia Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Compact, which prioritizes Strengthening the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector, Ensuring Equity and Inclusion (including Youth, Women, Elderly and Disabled), Monitoring Progress and Increasing Financial Commitments.
The Representatives and Senators-Elect therefore pledged to Introduce or Support Legislation which strengthens Liberia’s existing WASH Commitments, and Support the Establishment of a Cross-Party WASH Interest Group for both Houses to be convened by the Liberia CSOs WASH Working Group.
They also pledged to Advocate for an official WASH Committee in each House to oversee the Government’s Actions in the Sector, Listen to my constituent’s WASH needs, by holding at least one Citizen Engagement Meeting (within the first 100 days in office), and raise WASH needs in the House, and Speak out and lobby for increased funding for the WASH Sector in the National Budget.
The four Counties were primarily selected because Montserrado County pays host to the Nation’s capital, Monrovia and it has the largest population according to the 2008/2009 National Survey conducted by the Liberian government through the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo Information Services (LISGIS), while the other three (3) Counties, “River Gee, Maryland and Grand Kru” of the South Eastern Region of Liberia are operational areas of WaterAid, partner of the WASH R&E Network.
Successful Candidates “now Representatives-Elect” who signed the Pledge Card during the WASH Media Forum in Montserrado County were Hon. Solomon Claudius George of District # 7, Hon. Acarous Moses Gray of District # 8, and Hon. Richard S. Anderson of District # 12.
Others pledging their commitment for WASH include Hon. Josephine George Francis of District # 1, Hon. Sekou S. Kanneh of District # 2, Hon. Henry Boima Fahnbulleh of District # 4, Hon. Monah E. Pelham of District # 9, Hon. Julius Flourish Berrian of District # 10, Hon. Saah Hardy Joseph of District # 13, Hon. Adolph A. Lawrence of District # 15, Hon. Edward S. Forh (Incumbent) of District # 16, and Hon. William Varney Dakel, Sr. of District # 17.
For the South Eastern Region of the Country which started with River Gee County, Successful Candidates “now Senator and Representatives-Elect” who signed the Pledge Card during the WASH Media were Hon. Matthew N. Jaye (Senator), Hon. Johnson Toe Chea of District #1, Hon. Christian S. Chea of District # 2, and Charles K. Bardyl.
For Maryland County, Successful Candidates “now Senator and Representatives-Elect” who signed the Pledge Card during the WASH Media were Hon. H. Dan Morais (Senator), and Hon. James Pobee Biney(Incumbent) of District #1. Others who later pledged Commitment to WASH include Hon. Bhofal Chambers (Incumbent) of District # 2, and Isaac Blalu Roland of District # 3.
For Grand Kru County, Successful Candidates “now Senator and Representative-Elect” who signed the Pledge Card during the WASH Media were Hon. Peter Sonpon Coleman (Senator), and Hon. Numene T. Bertekwa of District # 2. Hon. George Wesseh Blamoh (Incumbent) of District # 1 is said to remain committed to Sanitation and water for all.
The candidates’ commitments were equally recorded by over twenty (10) WASH Reporters and Editors from each County attending the Forum. WASH R&E documented the WASH Commitments by the Candidates, intended to hold them accountable to their pledges.
WASH R&E Network indeed describes the WASH Media Forum as successful, with the commitments of 13 Representatives-Elect, out of 17 Electoral Districts of Montserrado County.
Three Senators-Elect and Nine Representatives-Elect respectively of 3 the Southeastern Counties (River Gee, Maryland and Grand Kru), and the entire 9 Electoral Districts in the 3 Counties pledged their commitments.