By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – Liberia this Saturday, March 22, 2014 joins other countries the world over to observe World Water Day.
Globally, March 22nd is marked as World Water Day. Institutionalized by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, the day is meant to increase global advocacy and create awareness on the need for fresh and clean water for better health and productivity.
A release from the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia, says this year’s World Water Day is commemorated under the theme “Water and Energy”.
The WASH Media Network is reminding the Liberian government and partners of the need to accelerate efforts aimed at ensuring access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation and better hygiene facilities across the country.
WASH R&E said the need for safe drinking water is becoming increasingly demanding throughout Liberia, especially in the capital, Monrovia.
The WASH Media Network of Liberia is also challenging the government to begin taking more concrete steps that will lead to the establishment of a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) commission and Board as promised in various WASH Policies.
The Policies include the Liberia WASH Compact and Liberia Sanitation & Water for All (SWA) 2012 Statement of Commitment.
According to the WASH Media Network of Liberia, governance in the WASH sector remains a huge challenge, fragmented among more than three public institutions. Some public institutions are even playing the role of service providers at the same time as regulators.
WASH R&E recounted that in order to address WASH governance challenge and improve access of the population to WASH and accelerate the political will, the government in a statement of commitment 2012 under the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership and other national and international agendas expressed desire to institute institutional reform and establish new structure that will provide regulatory service for the sector.
This will also help accelerate progress of the Liberian government in meeting WASH targets for the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and beyond.
The present WASH data has shown that Liberia is in many ways typical of several sub-Saharan African countries, with access to safe drinking water at improve level 63% of the population, far exceeding levels of access to improve sanitation at only 18% and hygiene the worse at 5% of practice in the country. Political prioritization of WASH is improving but low with allocation in the national budget less than 1% for WASH, with many of the national and international commitments yet to be realized.