The NEWS (Monrovia)

Liberia: 90 Percent Public Schools Lack Toilets

A combination of seven civil society organizations operating in the country has alarmed that Liberia is facing serious sanitation challenges that need strong political will.

The Liberia Civil Society Organizations on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) said 60 percent of the country's population lacks access to safe drinking water, while 90 percent of public schools operating in the country does not have toilet facilities.

In a position statement released Monday, at program commemorating World Water Day, the group called on the Government of Liberia to double its effort aimed at ensuring that citizens have access to these basic rights.

The group's Chairman, Price Krepleh wants government to do everything in its power to build public toilets so that defecation in open places would decrease which, he claims, stands at 15 percent.

Mr. Krepleh urged government to reduce the number of non-functional water services and increase the annual budget for water and sanitation by 15 percent. He called for the establishment of a water commission.

Kreplah wants President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf sign an Executive Ordinance to support the National Water Resources and Sanitation Board, established by the government some years ago so that some of these health problems in the country can be solved.

Receiving the petition on behalf of President Sirleaf, the Focal Person on Sanitation and Malaria, Shadrick Seton, commended the WASH CSO network for its effort in raising awareness for an improved sanitation environment for the citizens.

Mr. Seton said the president remains committed to ensuring that the sanitation sector of the country is improved.

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