Lawmakers Advocate For Improved Water, Sanitation
-As WASH Legislative Caucus release Plan
By Priyanka Kiazolu
The Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Legislative Caucus (WLC) is on the pathway to divert more energy to improving Water Sanitation and Hygiene across Liberia.
In a brief meeting on Wednesday, 29th March 2018, the Caucus brought together newly elected Lawmakers from both houses of the Legislature to receive the concept of making Water Sanitation and Hygiene available and affordable to people across Liberia.Hon. Vicent S. T. Willie, of Grand Bassa District #4, represented the House of Representatives, while Sen. Jonathan L. Kaipay represented the Senate.
The program was held at the Capitol Building. It brought together some members of the Legislature, Ministry of Health, UNICEF, USAID, Water Aid, African Development Bank among others, as key organizations working in Liberia including the community and Civil Society Organizations.
The actors discussed challenges the WASH Sector faces and the importance of making it vibrant.
The WLC’s organizing Chairman, Jonathan Kaipay expanded on the importance of safe drinking water and improved sanitary and hygiene facilities across Liberia. Sen. Kaipay says “The importance of water cannot be over emphasized. When you’re born, it is water that brings you to life as a baby, and it affects our lives as a people, in all aspects”. He says the Legislature will begin to argue budgetary allocation to support the WASH Commission. “We could not capture the WASH Commission in the recast budget because the budget was a focused on what was left to be achieved from the projects it was originally made for. So we can rest assure, that the next budget year, we as members of the WASH Legislative Caucus will be a good position to ensure that the WASH Commission is not left to get chocked to death” Sen. Kaipay said.
Oxfarm Country Director and Chair of the Board of Liberia WASH Consortium Anne-Catherine Bajard pledged her entities’ support to the WASH Commission and in working with the WASH Legislative Caucus.
Ms. Bajard sees the establishment of the WLC as a major achievement for the WASH Sector in Liberia. She says the commission should consider the inclusion of other necessary ministries of government, as well as build a WASH agenda.
The WASH Consortium Board Chair said her organizations will work to arrive at durable solutions for the sector, and bring on board, knowledge, comparing the Liberia WASH Sector to other countries’.
In separate remarks, key actors of the Liberia Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector stress the importance of WASH Legislative Caucus, and charged members to work promote budgetary allocation for the WASH Commission so as to improve the living conditions of the Liberian people.