Liberia: Cities Alliance Hands over Microfinance Loan facility to Ministry of Internal Affairs

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Monrovia – The Cities Alliance Liberia Country Programme successfully handed over a Microfinance Loan Facility to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Through the microfinance facility, Community-based enterprises (CBEs) were provided with financial support to improve solid waste collection and management services, including composting and recycling of organic and plastic waste.

The project was part of the Cities Alliance EU Funded programme “Delivering Climate-Resilient Solid Waste Management Services in Greater Monrovia – Liberia, through Community-Based Enterprises”, which was officially closed during the handover on 2 December, in Monrovia.

The overall objective of the four-year (2018-2021) programme was to ensure that Greater Monrovia is serviced by a citywide integrated solid waste management system. The initiative aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing people’s resilience to climate change, especially for residents of informal urban settlements, through improved sanitation and disease prevention, women empowerment and creation of livelihoods. 

The Greater Monrovia region comprises Monrovia and Paynesville City Corporations and the 10 surrounding townships, which covers over 1.3 million people. Solid Waste Management (SWM) services combine primary and secondary solid waste collection. The primary waste collection is run by private CBEs with semi-formal recognition by Greater Monrovia’s local governments. CBEs collect the waste from households and transport it with buckets, wheelbarrows or tricycle to specific locations designated by City Corporations.

The handover ceremony was attended by local government officials, representatives from partner organizations including National Association of Community Based Enterprises, Liberia Institute for Public Administration and the Liberia Water Sanitation and Hygiene Commission, civil society and community representatives, as well as the financial partner ECO BANK Liberia.

“We need to change our mindset with the belief that a clean Liberia is achievable. We need systems for that”, said Ms Mary Broh, Head of the General Service Agency of Liberia, during her keynote speech. She recalled how back in 2013 she used little resources to bring grand changes to have a clean environment. “A clean environment produces happy and healthy people” she added.

The European Union Ambassador, Hon. Laurent Delahousse praised Ms Broh’s efforts to keep the city clean over the years. “The people doing the daily clean-up, need support from the municipalities, the CBEs. It is the people’s responsibility and not only up to the cities or the international partners to have a clean environment” he noted.

Speaking at the event, Mr Neils Scott, UN Residence Coordinator in Liberia stressed that “solid waste management is an issue that needs to be addressed’. He appreciated the work done by the partners and the successful handover to the beneficiaries of the projects. He also commended the citizens of Greater Monrovia for their increasing participation in waste processes’ implementation and awareness.

During the event, Mr Arthur Campbel, representing the Mayor of Paynesville appreciated the intensive work undertaken by the EU through Cities Alliance both in Monrovia and Paynesville.  He also lauded the Government of Liberia for the level of cooperation with the partner organizations.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Varney A Sirleaf and the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, Professor Wilson Tarpeh, recognised the positive impact of the interventions on Liberians’ lives and expressed gratitude to the international community for their support. “We believe that this programme will be sustained.”

Mr Francisco Juarez Lopez, Cities Alliance Liberia Country Manager, presented the different projects undertaken under the Solid Waste Management Programme and thanked all the parties involved for their engagement and support throughout the four years of implementation. “The political will and support of the Liberian authorities, the EU, and our partners have been instrumental in the successful implementation of the programme. We hope the citizens of Greater Monrovia can continue to benefit from improved solid waste management services, building on the work that has been accomplished over the last years”.

 About Cities Alliance

Cities Alliance is the global partnership for urban poverty reduction promoting and strengthening the role of cities in sustainable development. Cities Alliance offers support to cities and development partnerships to foster effective local government, promoting an active citizenship and encouraging pro-poor public and private investment. Based in Brussels, Belgium, the Cities Alliance is hosted by UNOPS.  Cities Alliance Country Programmes are long-term initiatives tailored to a local context, delivered through financing key urban projects to achieve development impact at scale. The country programmes typically include activities at community, local and national levels.

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