Liberia: WASH Commission, Partners to Ensure Stronger Sector Regulations

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Nimba County – As part of efforts to strengthen Liberia’s sanitation sector, the National Water Sanitation and Hygiene Commission (NWASHC) along with development partners have concluded a three-day Strategic Planning Workshop in Gompa City, Nimba County.

Report by J.H. Webster Clayeh 00231770745986 [email protected]

The Strategy Planning Workshop which was held at the Jackie Hotel in Nimba County is aimed at developing a five-year road map for the NWASHC.

The WASH Commission Act was approved and printed into law in late 2017 during the regime of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

The WASH Commission Act, supported by National Government along with development partners, seeks to ensure vibrant Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in the country.

Speaking to FrontPage Africa during the event held over the weekend, the Chairman and CEO of the National WASH Commission Bobby Whitefield explained that as a government entity in the WASH sector, they are beginning to regulate everything that has to do with water, sanitation and hygiene in the country.

Despite being appointed by President George Weah as WASH Commission Chairman barely three months ago, Whitefield said the commission along with other development (local and international) partners are brainstorming on issues that will ensure stronger sector regulation.

The achievement of the water, Sanitation and Hygiene related issues targeted under the Pro-poor agenda and the Sustainable Development Goal of 2030 is key, the WASH Commission Boss said.

“You know, if don’t plan; you actually got a plan already, that is a plan to fail. So, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We don’t want this new commission that has been appointed by the President to fall into that trap that is why the newly appointed commission and his code of staffs have engaged our partners so early to come out with a road map plan,” Commissioner Whitefield disclosed.

He added: “The Road Map Plan will actually be getting away with lots of strategies on how to get the WASH Commission functional for us to achieve the target in the Pro-poor Agenda Prosperity and Development and as well as the Sustainable Development Goal six which has to do with WASH.”

Liberia is part of the global community and WASH is a major human development issue, Chairman Whitefield says. He added that anything that has to do water, sanitation and hygiene are indicators that measure developments.

Whitefield also stressed that the lack of adequate leadership has resulted to a poor performance of the WASH sector over the past times.

“The sector has been so fragmented; we have not had that one coordinating body that shows leadership to the sector. That is why President George Manneh Weah has appointed the WASH Commissioner whose happen to be myself, to bring that leadership to the sector,” he said.

This, Chairman Whitefield says, his leadership is on the brink of regulating, promoting and developing the WASH sector.

“We are the entity charged with the responsible to drive the government agenda especially on WASH through the PAPD. Where do we want to see ourselves in the next five years as the leader of the sector and how do we support achieving the PAPD,” Whitefield said.

He added: “achieving WASH in the PAPD is a great achievement in the Sustainable Development Goal by 2030. The government has drawn a very clear vision that this (WASH) must be achieved by 2023 and this is what we are working toward.”

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