21 November 2012

Liberia: CSO Group Wants Water & Sanitation Commission Established

A conglomeration of civil society organizations (CSOs) has petitioned President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to implement to the fullest by 2014 the joint statement of commitment from Sector Ministries of government. The group includes: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Network of Liberia, students, interest groups, professionals and the citizenry.

According to the group, the commitment pledged to decrease open defecation by at least 15%, improve water service access by at least 5%, increase water and sanitation service to primary schools and health facilities by at least 10%, reduce number of non-functioning water services by at least 10%,increase the practice of hand washing with soap by at least 25%, increase water and sanitation budgets annually by least 15% in real terms, ensure funding is not only provided for WASH infrastructure but is also allocated, by at least 10%.

In the petition, the group notes that the President should sign the Executive Order to establish the water and sanitation commission as enshrined in the Liberia WASH Compact, which it (group) said has been at the Presidency for over five months now. This, the group further notes, will ensure that the Liberia Evidence Based Decision Making (EBDM) commitment to the development of a monitoring and evaluation system for the WASH sector.

The CSO group wants the President implement water supply and sanitation policy (WSSP) to ensure a functioning National Water Resources and Sanitation Board. The group also wants the Liberian leader to implement the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Bureau and Directorate for Community Mobilization and Hygiene promotion.

Amongst other things, the CSO group calls for the establishment of a pool fund for the WASH sector for donor contributions/pledges.

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