The Deputy Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Liberia, Hon. Randall M. Dobayou, II has told a gathering in New York, United States of America that climate change is leading to more severe and frequent water-related disasters.
Speaking on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at an interactive dialogue on ‘Water for Climate Resilience, Environment, and Biodiversity at the ongoing United Nations Conference in New York, Hon. Dobayou said climate change also worsens environmental degradation, including pollution, increased water temperatures, ecosystem loss, economies, societies, and the environment.
He disclosed that the water resource potential of Liberia is encouraging, but said that the West African country lacks adequate, and proper management in the context of access to resources.
“Liberia is one of the world’s wettest countries but lacks vital networks to reach everyone with clean drinking water,” the EPA Deputy Executive Director said.
According to him, the President of Liberia His Excellency Dr. George M. Weah has constantly advocated for a program to distribute quality and safe drinking water to all Liberians.
He further told the gathering that over the last few years, the Government of Liberia focused on upgrading the country’s WASH infrastructure and service provision.
“We want to keep providing universal sustainable and equitable access to safe drinking water. Unfortunately, the EPA as the National Designated Authority (NDA) has struggled to secure finance from the Green Climate Funds to make a significant intervention in the Wash sector because of many bureaucratic challenges,” Deputy Director Dobayou said.
He said, “We are therefore asking for a substantial reduction in the bureaucracy to allow developing countries such as Liberia access resources as we work to increase our strategic urban and rural water supply by 100 % under our SDG target by 2030”.
He reminds participants at the dialogues that an increase in global warming is projected to exacerbate risks to ecosystems and humans; studies show that nine out of ten disasters triggered by natural hazards during the last decade were water-related.
“Due to their water-dependent nature, food security, human health, urban and rural settlements, energy production, industrial development, economic development, and ecosystems are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” Dobayou added.