…Addresses the Press on WASH Issues – By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone has held a Meeting with Stakeholders to discuss the new Strategic Direction that will shape the path of the Transboundary Programme in the coming five years and how it aligns with WASH sector focus.
A Team of Directors from WaterAid UK and Senegal also visited Liberia from November 5-6, 2015 to support the Programme next 5-year Strategy Development and engaged with different Stakeholders as a means of strengthening Partnerships.
Members of the Delegation were Margaret Batty–Director of Policy and Campaigns, Marcus Missen–Director of Communications and Fundraising, Mariame Dem–Head of Region, WaterAid West Africa, and Apollos Nwafor–Regional Advocacy Manager–West Africa.
Meanwhile, the Delegation has ended a fact finding and assessment mission to Liberia. The mission was also aimed at getting a first-hand report on activities of WaterAid Liberia/Sierra Leone.
A major Press Conference was held Friday at the Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia at the close of the Meeting with Stakeholders.
Speaking at the Conference, WaterAid’s Director of Policy and Campaigns in the UK, Margaret Batty said, if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved, especially in Water and Sanitation, the Government of Liberia needs to muster the political will.
Madam Batty wants the Liberian Government give a foremost supportive arm to the WASH sector of the country with the aim of ensuring the citizenry have access to WASH Service delivery.
She noted that government has a key role to play to ensure access to WASH services, and assured that WaterAid also remains supportive of initiatives aimed at buttressing government’s efforts as well.
Madam Batty said WaterAid is committed in making sure that Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation is achieved by 2030, noting that everyone everywhere has access to save Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
She assured that the British Charity is up to task to ensure that the poorest in the world receive and have the best of WASH services.
She however lauded President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for being a key player in pushing the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 6 on water and sanitation.
She described their visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone as a privileged in finding out what is happening in the two countries when it comes to water and sanitation.
Also speaking, the Director of Communications and Funding Raising, Marcus Missen noted that government needs to work with the aim of providing WASH services to Liberians and foreign residents.
Mr. Missen said there is no way his organization can ensure everyone everywhere has access to water and sanitation, if what has been done for the last 15 years, is still been done.
According to him, it is time for change with the purpose of exerting efforts in making sure that there is a major change in its operations.
Mr. Missen stressed the need for efforts in resolving the issues of water and sanitation in the two countries (Liberia and Sierra Leone).
For her part, the Head of Region, WaterAid West Africa, Mariame Dem said access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is critical to the development of any nation.
Madam Dem said since 2009, WaterAid’s activities in Liberia and Sierra Leone have made incredible achievements in both countries.
She pointed out that on the aspect of Advocacy, the charity has being engaging President Sirleaf to really be supportive of the importance of WASH.
She also commended local partners for the level of work in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector of the country.
For his part, WatewrAid Team Leader for Liberia and Sierra Leone, Chuchu Selma expressed delight for the visit of the Delegation and commanded partners for the efforts in working together.
Mr. Selma said he was happy that after the Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia, the WaterAid Delegation was in the country to share its solidarity with Liberians, to listen to their stories and help WaterAid Liberia and Sierra Leone strategize how to improve the lives of the very poor and marginalized people in society.
He reiterated that WaterAid remains committed to making the change happens and to ensuring its Vision, “A world where everyone everywhere has access to safe water, good sanitation and hygiene” is realized.
Mr. Selma added that WaterAid is working with government and Partners to see that the issues of WASH poverty, and sanitation crisis can be alleviated by breaking the barriers and inequalities.
This he believes can be done by working on ways to ensuring sustainability, especially in addressing the issue of poor hygiene practices and looking at a harmonized approach and integrating WASH into a wider human development.