LIBERIA: Ellen Chairs First National Water Resource and Sanitation Board Meeting

Liberian leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf  has chaired the First National Water Resources and Sanitation Board Meeting with criticisms of the fragmentation among partners, donors and their intervention in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector which makes it difficult to achieve tangible results.
She frowned on the many different actors doing separate interventions in a fragmented manner that has not yielded the desire results for the good of the country and its people.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader, speaking at the Board Meeting at her Foreign Ministry office on Monday, June 22, challenged the actors of the sector to consolidate their individual efforts into a holistic way to achieve the goal of actually delivering water, sanitation and hygiene services to all spheres of the society, including rural and urban communities.
“The water sector is too fragmented and this makes it very difficult to deliver the kinds of services that are required for the people which are so urgently needed. We must find ways now to come together in a strong way to achieve this goal,” President Sirleaf stressed.
She outlined the different Government institutions that have responsibility for water, sanitation and hygiene issues and stressed the need for effective collaboration, coordination and cooperation among them to help enhance the curtailing of the visible fragmentation in the sector.
The Liberian leader, notwithstanding, commended the various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and donor partners in the sector for complementing Government’s efforts of providing water, sanitation and hygiene services to the Liberian people and called on them to do more, but in a consolidated manner.
Also speaking, the Assistant Minister for Community Services at the Ministry of Public Works, who also heads the WASH Secretariat, George W.K. Yarngo, briefed the Board members about the activities of the Secretariat and advanced a number of recommendations to include the establishment of an institutional framework which all activities within the WASH sector can be centralized and consolidated under one entity.
In an effort to bring sectorial governance, structure and system to the country’s WASH sector, the country is at a critical juncture with the newly constituted Board being the singular body with the power and authority to ensure several worthwhile initiatives including to develop and endorse the national work plan going forward; propose an institutional framework for the establishment of an independent entity; engage the WASH donor group, among others.
Members of the National Water Resource and Sanitation Board which is chaired by President Sirleaf include the Ministers of Lands, Mines and Energy, Public Works, Health, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Development Planning, and Education.
Others are the Chairman of the Governance Commission, Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, the Country Representative of UNICEF-Liberia, the African Development Bank, USAID – Liberia WASH Consortium, Global Communities, WaterAid Liberia/Sierra Leone, the World Bank, and the Chief of WASH Liberia. Also  others include Mr. George Yaarngo, Mr. Mattheu Sulon, Mr. Abdul Koroma, Ms. Christiana N’tow, Martin Blayon, and John Kumeh.

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