LIBERIA: WaterAid Holds Partnership Review

By: WASH R&E Network – The International Charity “WaterAid” has completed a review process with its partners from Liberia and Sierra Leone. The 3-day exercise was held from April 3-5, 2013 at the Corina Hotel in Monrovia.

WaterAid can annually organize a planning meeting with all its implementing partners, meanly from Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Group Work on the second Day of the Planning Meeting of WaterAid and Partners (Group 2)

Group Work on the second Day of the Planning Meeting of WaterAid and Partners (Group 2)

Group Work on Day Two of the Planning Meeting of WaterAid and Partners (Group 1)

Group Work on Day Two of the Planning Meeting of WaterAid and Partners (Group 1)

Opening of the Planning Meeting of WaterAid and Partners in Monrovia

Opening of the Planning Meeting of WaterAid and Partners in Monrovia

Group Discussion on the 3rd Day of the Planning Meeting of WaterAid and Partners

Group Discussion on the 3rd Day of the Planning Meeting of WaterAid and Partners

The purpose for the planning meeting was to ensure the development a joint implementation plan in line with WaterAid Annual Plan and Budget, with the participation of all WaterAid’s partners.

Usually, during the Planning Meeting individual and joint projects are planned and budgeted for.

WaterAid has already developed an annual plan based on trajectory of change stipulated in national and regional strategies and plans.

According to WaterAid, assessment of its own capacities and those of the Partners including government and the existing needs of the communities have informed the magnitude of the plan.

The objectives among others things seek to identify WaterAid’s current position with regards to reaching its  2012/13 targets, draw out 2012/13 implementation challenges and lessons, and to design and develop implementation plans and agree on terms and budgets for 2013/14 projects

WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone Team Leader, Apollos Nwafor told WASH R&E Network-Liberia the gathering looked at how WaterAid and its partners are delivering regarding their promise to support the Governments and citizens of Liberia and Sierra Leone in bringing poor communities out of poverty through the provision of safe water and sanitation services.

Mr. Nwafor described the performance of WaterAid’s  partners as encouraging because according to him, one of the things that is very important is to see how the partners are carrying out their activities and delivering on their objectives, something he described as forming part of the Agenda for Transformation(Liberia’s Plan of Action “Vision 2030”).

He said WaterAid has already entered into a Partnership Agreement to ensure WASH priority issues are enhanced and also work with the poor and marginalized to deliver safe water and sanitation services.

Mr. Nwafor also said though there had been some level of achievements in the Liberian WASH sector, but much more needs to be done especially in the area of sustainability, “to ensure quality and longevity of projects implemented”. He named another issue as building community ownership, which he said has already happened.

He said one of the issues WaterAid has been looking at the innovative approaches for financing sustainability.

On the issue of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) the WaterAid Team Leader called for more practical steps to address the issue of open defecation especially in Liberia where CLTS level is reportedly low.

The Partnership Review focused on the Transboundary Programme of WaterAid which intends to transform the lives of people living in Liberia and Sierra Leone by improving access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene practices.

A programme review carried out in June 2012 revealed that much gains were made on influencing and the progress made so far on service delivery are evidence of the relevance of WaterAid especially in promoting a developmental approach in difficult terrain where humanitarian and other forms of hand-outs are prevalent.

The review recommends expansion of the programme into a fully-fledged with Policy Influencing, Capacity Building and Service delivery as three broad areas of focus. This process has begun with the development of the Transboundary Programme Strategy which encompasses different aspects, including the Rural WASH Projects.

WaterAid Rural WASH Projects intent to reach 94,500 poor people directly with access to safe water, 130,000 poor people through oits hygiene promotion and another 227,500 to access their right to improved sanitation facilities within the period of 3 years (2013 to 2016).

According to WaterAid, this will be done by constructing and rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructures including boreholes, hand dug wells, pre-war gravity-fed systems in Sierra Leone, institutional latrines and through the implementation of community sanitation programme using the CLTS approach.

WaterAid started its operations in Liberia and Sierra in 2009 as a pilot programme. Since 2009, through its partners WaterAid reached nearly 35,000 poor people with safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene in Liberia. In Sierra Leone 55,000 and 10,000 poor people have been reached directly with sanitation and water services respectively over the past three years.

WaterAid has also been working to support the Governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone in developing capacities in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector to deliver quality services. The International Charity works have successfully influenced policy changes that strengthened and supported delivery of WASH services within the two Countries.

Working with the Office of the President of Liberia has been to support her role as Water and Sanitation Goodwill Ambassador for Africa under the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) initiative.

In Sierra Leone WaterAid has been working with the government to support the ongoing SWA processes which will subsequently lead to the development of a WASH Compact.

 Most of the works done on advocating for poor people’s right to WASH services and ensuring positive policy measures to secure and provide the rights of poor people to water, sanitation and hygiene has been done through CSO partners at national and local levels.

The CSO partners have  also strengthened their work through the Legislative engagements and are currently influencing the Lawmakers in both Countries to put WASH on the Legislative agenda.