Legislative WASH Caucus Chairman Wants National Solid Waste Management Policy Becomes Law
Monrovia – The Chairman of the Legislative Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Caucus, Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay has called for the passage of the National Solid Waste Management Policy into law.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]
The policy is geared toward the promotion of solid waste and its corresponding value addition to the cleanliness of cities in Liberia. it also details value addition by encouraging recycling and waste to energy.
Senator Kaipay made the call at a one-day WASH Caucus meeting aimed at discussing ways to improve the WASH sector of Liberia.
His comments followed the disclosure by officials of the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) that the policy was drafted about a decade ago and submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for onward submission to the Executive and Legislative Branches to be passed into law.
According to Jerome D. Dangbuah, Asst. Director for the Solid Waste Management Department at the MCC, the policy seeks to obligate residents to pay for their waste and gives various city governments the legal rights in collecting solid waste intakes.
Dangbuah added that under the leadership of Mayor Jefferson Koijee, the MCC has been working to do away with the traditional waste collection system wherein residents within the city will pay minimum fees for the disposal of their waste.
The process, he said has begun with the enumeration of private and public structures aimed at tracking and locating waste, as well as providing proper address system for homes, public and business areas across Monrovia.
But low budgetary allotment and the absence of a law authorizing the city government to collect waste disposal fees from residents may serve as stumbling block.
In response, Senator Kaipay called for a stakeholder meeting to review the policy and ensure its passage to give city governments in Liberia to legal mandate for efficient and profitable waste management.
The Grand Bassa County Senator is credited for his pivotal role in the passage of the Act establishing the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission of Liberia (NWASHCL).
Also, at the meeting, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission of Liberia (NWASHCL), Bobby Whitefield declared the month of March as World Water Month; while March 18-22 was declared as World Water Week.
Mr. Whitefield noted that the celebration of this year’s event will begin in Margibi and Grand Bassa counties from the 18 to 21 of March and will be climaxed in Monrovia on March 22, which is observed every year as World Water Day.
Speaking further, the WASH Commission boss lauded the government for the support including the passage of the Act establishing the Wash Commission and subsequent budgetary allocation and provision of office space.
With the support coming from the government and partners, Mr. Whitefield avowed that the Commission is on course to implementing its mandate of promoting and regulating the development, management of water and hygiene services and serving as the principal government entity on water, sanitation and hygiene throughout Liberia.
He however noted that despite these supports, the Commission is plagued with series of challenges, some include sharing of its functions with some government entities.
He revealed that because the act establishing the WASH Commission did not repeal the function of some entities regulating WASH activities, the commission is still sharing its tasks with them.
Owing to this, he said the Commission often miss out on international conferences and forfeit other obligations and called on the government to ensure that all regulatory WASH development functions within the governmental sector fall under the Commission.
The meeting was attended by major stakeholders of the WASH sector including the Legislative WASH Caucus of Liberia, the WASH Commission, Monrovia City Corporation and other partners including WaterAid Liberia and UNDP.