Liberia CSOs WASH Network Ends Training, 2nd General Assembly

The Liberia CSOs Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Network with support from the National Democratic Institute (NDI), has ended a two-day Civil Society Skill Building workshop in Monrovia.

The NDI sponsored Workshop brought together organizations which are part of the CSOs WASH Network from River Gee, Bomi, Grand Kru, Maryland and Margibi counties, including officials and others members from Montserrado county.

Speaking at the start of the 2-day Capacity Training Workshop, the Chairman of the Liberia CSOs WASH Network, Prince Kreplah said the Training was important in building the skills of members that will eventually augment skills of their respective organizations in the WASH sector.

Mr. Kreplah said following the Need Assessment conducted by the Group, the need for capacity building became an important issue that needed urgent attention by the Network.

The Training Workshop was followed by the second General Assembly of the Liberia CSOs WASH Network on the third day.

The workshop was funded by the NDI based on the request from the Network to hold a Citizens’ Engagement with Legislative Advocacy.

The Civil Society Skills Building Workshop was aimed at increasing political relevance and awareness of WASH in the national and local development agenda formulation, National Budget 2014-2015 beyond.

The Training was also intended to promote citizens’ participation in the national decision making and the engagement of citizens with their Legislators and political appointees which is designed to develop a people center agenda for WASH.

The objective focused increase civil society advocacy for access to WASH across the country, build result based advocacy capacity of civil society leaders.

The workshop covered the following topics including, Legislative Advocacy and Citizens Engagement, Training Needs Assessment Report, Financial and Narrative Reporting on the NDI sponsor Project, Advocacy Techniques Method, Lobbying Media and Campaign and Resource Mobilization, among others.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the 2nd General Assembly of the CSOs WASH Network, Deputy Health Minister for Administration, Matthew Flomo reminded the WASH CSOs that the gathering was intended to take a retrospective look at their activities for the past three years.

Dep. Minister Flomo commended the Network for the initiative to put in place an organization that will solely deal with the issue of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the country.

The Deputy Health Minister used the occasion to also commend stake holders, partners and government for the level of collaboration in the WASH sector.

He also cautioned members of the CSOs WASH Network to ensure full local ownership and participation in the sector to promote innovation in the sector.

He indicated that child mortality reduction is being undermined by water borne related diseases.

For his part, the Chairman of the CSOs WASH Network said in spite of the success recorded, the lack of access to water and especially sanitation and hygiene is unacceptably high and therefore brings the Civil Society to the conclusion that more needs to be done, not only by government but as well as civil society and development partners to improve WASH sector.

Mr. Kreplah said the government of Liberia as primary duty bearer to fulfill the human rights to WASH, has to take the lead by facilitating and providing the required environment through policy formulation and enforcement, increasing public financing of WASH and demonstrating visible political will through policy measure (practical action taken leading to fulfillment of policy commitment(s).

He said the CSOs WASH Network welcomes the visibility of water, sanitation and hygiene in the Agenda for Transformation (AfT) and the ambitious goal set to be fulfilled by 2017.

The Liberia CSOs WASH Network  said it is also worried that the AfT will not follow the steps of the Liberia WASH Compact which equally in 2011 set ambitious targets committing to implement 18 deliverables over two years only, to realize after the two years only 4-5 deliverables have been fully fulfilled.

After the opening of the assembly, participants engaged in session to discuss house matters.

They were also cautioned to be active in sector activities in their respective counties. Participants during the in house discussion named the lack of toilets, specific action plan for WASH in the counties and informative programs on radio as some of the challenges facing their respective groups.

The Liberia CSOs WASH Network was established in 2009 to ensure that every Liberian has access to safe drinking water, improved sanitation and practices good hygiene.

The Training Workshop and General Assembly of the Liberia CSOs WASH Network took place in Monrovia from December 3-5, 2013.