Signing of Water and Sanitation Compact offers hope to Liberians

Mar 20, 2012

WaterAid has welcomed the commitment made by the President of Liberia, to increase investment to help the 1.2 million Liberians without access to safe drinking water and 3.5 million who lack adequate sanitation. The President, President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is an international water and sanitation ambassador, made the commitment by signing the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Compact at a ceremony last month in Monrovia, Liberia.

It offers a two-year framework to dramatically speed up the delivery of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and commits the Government to spending at least 0.5% of its Gross Domestic Product on sanitation.
Apollos Nwafor, WaterAid's Team Leader in Liberia, said: "The Compact represents a fresh start for Liberia and its people. WaterAid is keen to support the delivery of this exciting and transformative programme, and we commend the president for showing real leadership to the world."
WaterAid was fundamental in instigating the initial meeting in Liberia last year, where the Compact was first developed.
The need for action
Around 2,900 Liberian children die annually from diarrhoea caused by unsafe drinking water, poor hygiene and sanitation.
The Liberian WASH Compact requires the Liberian Government to take immediate action to prevent this injustice by committing to:
  • Put in place a budget structure that has separate lines for water, sanitation and hygiene education so that allocations and expenditure can be monitored
  • Undertake a detailed investment plan
  • Appoint a National Water Resources and Sanitation Board to oversee the implementation of the Compact
  • Mainstream water, sanitation and hygiene in the education system
  • Ensure community-led approaches to sanitation and hygiene promotion
  • Ensure equitable access to services across all of Liberia’s communities
Sanitation and water for all
The Liberia WASH Compact is a product of the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) Partnership, which is aimed at ensuring significant steps are taken to improve global access to safe water and improved sanitation facilities.
The commitments within this initiative, agreed upon by policy makers and ministers from 30 countries, are:
  • To increase political prioritisation, resource mobilisation and aid effectiveness
  • To work together to improve the targeting of resources to ensure more gets to low-income countries and the poorest communities
  • To set up a new funding mechanism to better support the poorest countries with the weakest capacities to develop national plans

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