The Ministry of Public Works through its Deputy Minister for Technical Service has called on the Government of Liberia and its development partners to fully support the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Capacity Development Plan. Presenting a summary of the Development Plan at the end of a three-day WASH sector review and launch of the WASH Sector Investment Plan (SIP), Minister Victor B. Smith, said supporting the plan is like investing in the future.
The three-day WASH sector review and launch of the SIP was held at the Samuel Kanyan Doe (SKD) Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia. According to Mr. Smith, the Capacity Development Plan is a policy instrument provided for in the WASH Sector Strategic Plan of 2012 to 2017 and the Liberia WASH Compact of 2011, signed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
President Johnson-Sirleaf is also the Goodwill Ambassador for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Africa and Co-Chair of the High Level Panel of Eminent persons for 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - the world global agenda. The Public Works Ministry official said in 2012, UNICEF funded the formulation of the Plan starting with the capacity need assessment.
He said the exercise included the participation of wide range of stakeholders including the Government of Liberia (GoL), civil society organizations, private media, education establishments and development partners covering 171 people and over 60 institutions, structures, organizations and programs.
"The main focus of the Capacity Development Plan is to build capacity for service delivery against the WASH Sector Strategic Plan, a product of the Poverty Reduction Strategy II and Vision 2030. In other words, the Capacity Development Plan is the vehicle to drive needed investment in the sector. Additionally, the Plan is in line with the Liberia National Capacity Development Strategy, 2008-2018," he stated.
Speaking further, he said the Plan proposes a mix of methodologies including education upgrades, the development of sector specific block training courses with ongoing mentoring and practice, scholarships and internships and the development of processes and system to increase output.
"A key recommendation from the Plan is that funding should be sought to engage a dedicated WASH Capacity Development Support Team to support a GoL-led coordination team for capacity development. It is also proposed that the Plan be monitored on an annual basis," Minister Smith noted. He added that raising the capacity for the sector up to its pre-war status and developing it further requires significant resources over a period of time, stressing: "It is absolutely necessary and must be done if we are to achieve a middle income economy by 2030."