LIBERIA: CSO Calls for Increment in WASH Budget

… As Budget Committee Assures of Increment – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network- As the National Legislature reviews the 2017/2018 Fiscal Budget, United Youth for Peace, Education, Transparency & Development is calling on the Legislature to increase the budget for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

Rep. Prince Moye, Chair on the National Budget Committee making remarks

Rep. Prince Moye, Chair on the National Budget Committee making remarks

In a petition statement presented by the local WASH CSO group, the group reminded the Legislature about the important role WASH plays in the social and economic development of any nation.

The group’s Executive Director, Timothy Kpeh said increasing the budget for WASH by the National Legislature will contribute to the reduction of water borne related sicknesses in the country.

Mr. Kpeh indicated that providing separate line for WASH in the fiscal budget will enable government to provide adequate funding for the provision of WASH services in the poorest communities across Liberia.

He said in other to address bottle necks in WASH service delivery, financing of the sector must be more efficient.

Speaking on behalf of the Budget Committee, Bong County Representative, Prince Moye commended the CSO group for their advocacy for the increment of WASH in the 2017/2018 National Budget.

Representative Moye said, it is not the first of its kind for the CSO group to approach the Legislature on the issue of water, sanitation and hygiene in the national budget.

He said as Legislators, they are aware of the significant role WASH plays   in addressing the health needs in the country.

The Bong County Law marker indicated that the issue of WASH cannot be over emphasized, adding it has a major impact on the society.

The Chairman of the 2017/2018 National Budget, Rep. Moye said the issue of WASH, especially in rural Liberia is becoming a serious nightmare.

He disclosed that several communities in Liberia are in dire need of safe drinking water.

Representative William Darkel making remarks

Representative William Darkel making remarks

Representative Moye said as Chair of the Committee, he feels that increasing the budget will help address the challenges in the WASH sector of Liberia.

He said in the current budget some funds have been allocated to various WASH line ministries and agencies for the Fiscal Budget.

The Law marker said WASH is a priority as such, it is their responsibility as Legislators to ensure that additional funding is allocated for WASH.

Rep. Moye said Plenary has mandated his committee to review and consider the proposal of the WASH actors as it relates to the increment of the WASH budget.

He said based on the availability of funding and the report from his committee, what has already been placed in the budget for WASH will likely be increased.

Also, speaking, Representative William Darkel of Montserrado County assured the CSO WASH actors that all will be done to increase the budget on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

Rep. Darkel said as a Law marker he will continue to champion the cause of WASH in that August Body.

For her part, the Policy Officer of the British Charity, WaterAid Liberia Patience Zayzay, indicated that there is no way the issues of water, sanitation and hygiene can be diverged from other sectors in the country.

Ms. Zayzay said appropriating separate budget line in the national budget will for WASH will contribute greatly in solving the issue of fragmentation in the sector.

She called on the National Legislature to consider the issue of WASH as they review the national budget.

The Policy Officer of WaterAid Liberia said the lack of water and sanitation facilities will undermine the development of Liberia.

The engagement with the Budget