The Chairman of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene Commission of Liberia (WASH-SECTOR) Bobby Whitfield has stressed that the commission is attaching excessive speed to help put to an end open defecation across Liberia.
“We can do it and we are working tirelessly to have it done”, Mr. Whitfield indicated.
He said if India with billion plus population can end open defecation in five years, Liberia with less than five million people can also do the same, he assured.
As part of efforts in said regard a Community Led Total Sanitation project which was launched in 2009 is in full swing, Booby, told newsman.
According to him a five-year road map plan has been developed with assistance from partners to ensure they implement said task to the core.
The WASH boss told reporters Wednesday at his 18th Street Sinkor office that their five years’ strategic plan is alien with the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) especially pillar-2 as well as the sustainable development goal-six with number of indicators, he added.
Currently he puts the percent of those who practicing open defecation in Liberia at 42% amounting to over 1.2 million people nationwide something he noted is alarming for a Country with such small population unlike others.
He said the situation is currently posing serious challenge on the Development of Liberia mainly the health sector.
Mr. Whitfield pointed out that the lack of decent WASH sector is causing the Country about 17m losses annually, this he noted needs to be changed.
According to him an improved WASH sector will help reduced the burden on Liberia’s health system.
Currently and as a result of open defection more children under five are dying while some are now suffering from growth process called stunting, Whitfield, stressed.
He encouraged Liberians and residents in general to help keep their environment clean at all times to help ensure a healthy society for living and to as well put to an end such troubling health situation.
Bobby said as a new commission they are now working to transform challenges into opportunities especially with a vibrant workforce.
He noted that they are also working to build a more improved system including properly regulating the sector to effectively address the fragmentation which has been in the sector for years for which among other things, the Commission was established.
“Developing the sector as well as depoliticizing it and many more will be achieved in the coming years”, Bobby assured stakeholders in the sector.
Mr. Whitfield at the same time praised international partners for their continuous support to the sector but was quick to encouraged them to do more.
He named some of the partners as: UNICEF, its biggest partner, World Bank, the African Development Bank UNDP, OXFAM and Water Aid among others.
Meanwhile the revision of a UNICEF annual work plan along with national government will take place on Friday, November 15, 2019.
Currently Nigeria is ranked as the number one open defection Country with about 44m people practicing such.