Heritage (Monrovia)

27 January 2012

Liberia: Wash Compact Finally Signed

Photo: http://www.un.org
A girl holds a basin of water.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has finally signed the much talked about Liberia WASH Compact which was developed at the Multi Donor Conference on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) held at the S.K.D Spokes Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia last year May. The Liberia WASH Compact is a product of the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) Partnership aimed at ensuring that the Liberian population can have adequate access to safe water and improved sanitation facilities.

A release from the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia quotes the National Water Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Committee under the leadership of the Public Works Ministry as saying President Johnson-Sirleaf who is WASH Goodwill Ambassador for Africa, signed the Compact last week.

The Liberia WASH Compact outlines the commitment to meet the MDGs challenges through partnership between Government, the Private Sector, Civil Society, Development Partners and the Media.

The President said recognizing that the challenges being addressed by the Liberian WASH Compact are shared by other Countries in the Region, the Government of Liberia will ensure the learning and successes of the Compact are disseminated in order to accelerate attainment of WASH objectives among Nations in the Mano River Union and ECOWAS.

President Johnson-Sirleaf believes that the Liberia WASH Compact will galvanize action in the WASH Sector and result in real improvements in access to safe water and sanitation for the people of Liberia.

The Compact builds on the development of several key WASH Sector Policies and Regulations which are essential for implementation to ensure that water and sanitation facilities are accessible, affordable and available to both rural and urban Communities.

Meanwhile, WASH Sector Actors in Liberia are commanding the President for the signing of the WASH Compact describing it as a demonstration of her commitment to the health and well being of the Nation.

The National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Committee under the leadership of the Public Works Ministry says the Liberia WASH Compact has been endorsed at the highest level and reiterates its continued support and commitment to the implementation of the WASH Compact and supporting the President in ending WASH poverty in Liberia.

The Liberian WASH Sector Actors welcome the move that only two days after her inauguration, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia demonstrated her commitment to the health and well being of the Nation by signing the Liberia WASH Compact. This endorsement is greatly appreciated by the WASH Sector Actors who wish to say, "Thank you," to Her Excellency.

The WASH Sector Actors said the Liberia WASH Compact is a document that maps out four priority areas which will ensure that citizens of Liberia have access to safe, clean water and improved sanitation facilities.

According to them, these are in the form of the following commitments for sector stakeholders to establish and strengthen the institutional capacity of the sector, ensure equity and prioritized service provision, develop a monitoring system and improve the financing mechanisms.

The WASH Compact was developed by a team that included representatives from Government Ministries, Civil Society, Development Partners, UN Agencies and the Private Sector.

The Liberia WASH Compact provides a clear action plan which, with the coordinated response of the WASH Actors and the President's endorsement, will result in increased efforts to improve water and sanitation facilities for the citizens of Liberia.

The WASH Sector Actors in Liberia are meanwhile encouraging everyone to read the signed Liberia WASH Compact available at www.wash-liberia.org.

The signing of the Liberia WASH Compact follows almost two months of intensive advocacy by the Liberia CSOs WASH Working Group for the President to sign the Compact.

The advocacy was done through series of WASH Crisis Talks around the Country, during which time the citizens challenged and urged the Liberian President to sign the Liberia WASH Compact in the interest of the State and people.

At one of the Crisis Talk Programs in Western Liberia, citizens of Gbarpolu County called on the Liberian Chief Executive, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to sign the Liberia WASH Compact, which they believe is the first step towards addressing coordination, governance and financing challenges facing the Sector.

The Gbarpolu County WASH Crisis Talk organized by the WASH Reporters & Editors Network of Liberia (WASH R&E), "a Member of the Liberia CSOs WASH Working Group", pointed out that the signing of the Compact will boost the Liberian WASH Sector faced with fragmentation, inadequate funding, policy limitation and data challenge which continue to undermine the Sector.

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