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WASH CEO Craves For
More Budgetary Support

The National Water and Sanitation Hygiene Commission (WASH) Chief Executive Officer, Bobby Whitfield has called on Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah to augment the Commission’s budget.
Mr. Whitefield pointed out that it is no secret the commission is challenged financially in addressing the many challenges confronting the WASH sector and as such, the need for the increment of the institution can never be overemphasized.
He made the assertions on Monday, during the opening of a two-day refresher training of trainers on the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) as means of ending open defecation across Liberia. The event is being organized by the WASH Commission in partnership with the National Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) in commemoration of World Toilet Day.
With support from the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), the training held at the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) brought together over 41 participants from both the WASH Commission and other government’s ministries including WASH Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and the head of UNICEF WASH team, among others.
World Toilet Day is an official United Nations international observance day on 19, November to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Furthermore, Worldwide, 4.2 billion people live without “safely managed sanitation” and around 673 million people practice open defecation.
According to him, Liberia can never be a better place when the issues of sanitation is not addressed holistically, stressing, “Thankfully the President has shown interest in supporting the commission by establishing the WASH and placing in the national budget during his first term, but I think there is still a lot to be done.”
“The commission needs more support from the MCC compact report which Liberia has now failed for the fourth time running, and sanitation was one of the indicators that led to our failure. So, I hope my big brother can do due diligence by helping to augment our budget for fiscal year 2021/2022,” he averred.
Earlier, the NPHIL Division of Environmental Health Deputy Director, Amos F. Gborie stressed the importance of ending open defecation in Liberia by 2022 and thereby described the training as a great milestone and big boost for the country in achieving its goals on sanitation.
He further pledged the NPHIL’s fullest support in making sure that the beneficiaries of the training to utilize the knowledge acquired for the good of Liberia and its citizenry.
For his part, the UNICEF Head of WASH, Jagadishwar Barun stated that the main objective of the training is to review and recapitulate their experiences of triggering CLTS in their respective districts and counties since the first hands on training workshops held in 2009.
According to him, it is also intended to share and present their experiences, highlighting the progress and challenges faced in scaling up CLTS across the districts and counties for total coverage as well as discuss thoroughly and identify the training needs, facilitation skills and knowledge of CLTS in improving their skills and sharpen their focus as national level trainers.
“We will also discuss and develop a rough outline plan for hastening up the process of achieving open defecation free Liberia by the end of 2023 as well as chalked out plan of declaring at least two ODF regions by the end of 2022,” he averred.

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