The New Dawn (Monrovia)

31 January 2013

Liberia: This Is the Time to Act! Woods Cautions

Public Works Minister, Samuel Woods, II has told World leaders and partners that Liberians want action now and not words. Minister Woods said Wednesday when he made a welcome and opening remark at the occasion marking the Post 2015 Thematic Consultations on Water on the Margins of the Post 2015 High Level Panel of Eminent Persons that is expected to take place in Liberia.

"This consultation must be a call to action. This is the time to act; our women in the villages continue to suffer the excruciating perils associated with the lack of safe drinking water," Minister Woods said.

According to the Works boss, the growth, survival and development of the Liberian children continue to be impaired by lack of access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation. So "they want action, not words, these consultations must respond to their yearnings."

In furtherance, Minister Woods said, Liberia is eager to demonstrate to the world that it is committed to reforms, and its agenda for transformation is on course. "We want to show progress, we want to consolidate the gains of democratic transition, respect for the rule of law and good governance".

He said the water and sanitation sectors have suffered from lack of attention at various levels adding that, if current funding and planning trends continue, the Millennium Development Goal for sanitation will not be met in Sub-Saharan Africa for the next 150 years.

Minister Wood said Water being central to development which has been proven, its socio, economic and environmental values is often overlooked. He declared that even though there remains to be major challenges, the inclusion of access to water and basic sanitation as MDG targets within the Millennium Declaration in 2000 helped the world focus its attention, and overcome some of the most aggravating challenges.

The aim of the water consultation is to facilitate discussions among a broad range of stakeholders to review progress on the MGDs, build consensus around key future challenges in water and the need to address water in the post-2015 development agenda.

The consultation in Liberia will use the same framework as the global on-line consultation and be divided into three thematic sub-consultations to allow for in-depth discussions and positions around Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Water Resources Management and Wastewater Management and Quality. Efforts to institutionalize the WASH sector started in May 2011 when President Sirleaf signed the WASH Compact document.

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