Liberia has joined the rest of the world in observance of World Water Day 2017, which is annually celebrated March 22.
The global theme of this year’s celebration is “waste water“ with the campaign theme: “Why waste water?”
The official celebration started with a parade from the Monrovia City Hall to the William V.S. Tubman High School in Sinkor for the indoor program which brought together WASH actors from government, development partners and civil society.
Delivering a special statement on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Public Works Minister, Gyude Moore said the theme of this year clearly states the importance of reducing and reusing waste water.
He said instead of wasting waste water, Liberia needs to reduce and reuse waste water in homes, gardens and plots, adding it will help achieve the SDGs 6.
The Public Works Minister speaking through a recorded video message indicated that the emphasis is on improving water quality, stressing all water and not just drinking water.
He said globally, the vast majority of all waste water from homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused, thus polluting the environment losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.
He said the observance of World Water Day, which is now also known as Water Action Month is about taking action in tackling the water crisis and disclosed that over 663 million people are living without safe drinking water supply close to home.
In the special message, Minister Moore said by putting in place mechanisms to reduce and reuse wastewater, it would help reduce the challenges faced by 663 million people the world over who still lack improved drinking water sources.
For Liberia, Minister Moore said a large proportion of waste water is discharged directly into face basins and or informal drainage channel without treatment.
He said despite these conditions, opportunities from reusing waste water are enormous. He called for concerted efforts for the reuse of waste water.
Minister Moore and Assistant Public Works Minister for Community Services, George Yarngo are currently in Durban, South Africa attending the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Water Summit, as part of World Water Day Commemoration.
For his part, the Managing Director of the Liberia water & Sewer Corporation, Hun Bun Tulay speaking at official program stressed the need for WASH beneficiaries to join Government in taking ownership of the facilities.
Mr. Tulay indicated that the beneficiaries should help ensure the facilities are sustained. He also called for the recycling of waste water to benefit all, especially in Africa.
Also speaking, WaterAid Deputy Country Director, Chuchu Selma said World Water Day is intended to raise awareness on the sustainability of water resources globally.
Mr. Selma noted that sustainability will provide the platform on which water can be improved, conserved and preserved.
He reiterated WaterAid’s commitment to transforming lives across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities.
Also speaking, Liberia WASH Civil CSOs represented by George Karyah of the Liberia NGOs Network, called on Government to do more to practically ensure Liberians have access to safe drinking water.
Mr. Karyah asserted that due to the lack of safe drinking water, Liberians are been affected on a daily basis.
He said the struggle to get safe drinking water on a daily basis, couple with water related diseases is high in society due to the lack of safe drinking water in most communities across Liberia.
World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on March 22. The Day focuses attention on the importance of fresh water and advocates for the sustainable.