The African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW) has concluded a one-day Country Stakeholder Consultation on theAfrican Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) in Monrovia.
The Consultation was held in partnership with the National WASH Commission and Stakeholders of the WASH Sector of Liberia.
The Consultation was aimed at strengthening the enabling environment, including increased investment, enhancing the capacity of national authorities and updating legal and policy frameworks for regulating sanitation systems.
AMCOW has described sanitation as key to improving the WASH sector of member countries, and it is alsothe backbone to development of purposeful financial and implementation strategy for increasing access to safe sanitation.
Speaking at the start of the Consultation Tuesday, AMCOW Sanitation Project Manager, Kitch Bawasaid African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) process demonstrates the content of what an ideal sanitation policy should incorporate and will set best practices for the future.
Mr. Bawa stressed the importance of the consultative meeting to highlight the roles that a comprehensive sanitation policy can play in the immense task of achieving the SDG 6.2 and the need for a sanitation policy guideline.
He further said the meeting seeks to provide the overview of the state of sanitation policies on the continent and raise awareness on the importance of the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines, amongst others.
For his part, the Board Chairman of the National WASH Commission, Public Works Minister, MobutuNyenpan said the George Weah led Administration will ensure that the WASH Commission receives the necessary support in carrying out its functions in Liberia.
He said, despite the financial challenges faced by the government of Liberia,the government will fully provide resources needed to have the Commission functional.
He commended international partners for the level of support to the WASH sector of the country.
The WASH Commission Board Chair said the meeting by AMCOW in Liberia is timely due to the threat the world faces with the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Minister Nyenpan also called on the WASH Commission to adopt policy and measures in the fight against the virus.
He praised AMCOW for organizing the meeting and assured of government’s cooperation in the process.
Making remarks, the Chairman of the WASH Legislative Caucus, Grand Bassa County Senator, JonathanKaipay called on President GeoergeWeah to consider water, sanitation and hygiene issues as an emergency.
Senator Kaipay asserted that when this is done, it would demonstrate the political will of the Liberian government in making WASH a National Priority.
He assured that the WASH Legislative Caucus is working on policy issues that would enable the Commission to exercise its role in regulating the sector.
Also speaking, Gender Minister WilliminaSaydee-Tarr said investment in WASH will help reduce the burden on government.
Minister Tarr expressed the willingness of her Ministry to work with WASH stakeholders to ensure necessary actions are taken to address WASH issues affecting women and children in Liberia.
Also making remarks, WaterAid Country Director, Chuchu Selma said the meeting has afforded Liberia the opportunity to give high premium to the issue of sanitation.
Mr. Selma said the meeting would enable stakeholders to design strategy intended to tackle the issue of sanitation in Liberia, thus bringing some level of improvement to sanitation.
“My organization is committed to the process and will provide the necessary support to the WASH Commission and the sector at large”, Mr. Selma indicated.
Also speaking, the Liberia Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) WASH Network urged government to make good on its promises to the WASH Commission in particular and WASH sector in general.
Liberia CSOsWASH Network National Chairman, Augustine N. Myers reminded government that his organization will follow up on the statement made by the government through WASH Commission Board Chair, MobotuNyenpanfor full support to the Commission and WASH sector.
Mr. Myers commended AMCOW for the bold step to organize the Sanitation Stakeholder Consultation.
According to him, the meeting will create the platform and mitigate issues relating to sanitation in the WASH sector of Liberia.
For his part, the Chairman and CEO of the National WASH Commission, Bobby Whitefield commended AMCOW for African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) Consultation in Liberia.
He said the sanitation consultation sets the platform for Liberia to begin to address the issue of sanitation.
The WASH Commission Chief Executive Officer assured AMCOW that the Commission will do all it can to ensure the full implementation of the guidelines and policy of AMCOW Sanitation Initiative across the African continent.
The objectives of the Consultation among other things, seek to highlight the roles that a comprehensive sanitation policy can play in the immense task of achieving SDG 6.2 and the need for a sanitation policy guideline, and to create awareness, gather inputs and buy-in from relevant stakeholders to improve the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) development.