Parting Urge -Citizens Want Active WASH Commission

A cross section of citizens from West Point Township in Monrovia are making a parting urge on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to ensure that she make the WASH Commission active.

President Sirleaf is expected to turn over power to Amb. George Weah on January 22, 2018, and the WASH Commission is yet to be function since she constituted it some months ago.

The citizens said if this is not done before she leaves office as president, it could certainly undermine efforts and gains made by WASH Civil Society Organizations and Development Partners which is aimed at creating an enabling WASH environment across the country.

The citizens made the statement during a one day citizens Dialogue on the WASH Commission organized by the Liberia NGO Network, LINNK with funding from Water Aid Liberia/ Sierra Leone.

They noted that the commission will become operational by when the president appoints officials to occupy key positions at that newly established entity.

The West Point Residents said President Sirleaf as WASH Ambassador of Africa must ensure that she puts the necessary mechanisms in place before for the water, sanitation and hygiene sector of the country before her tenure ends.

Providing an overview of the one day dialogue, the chairman of LINNK, George Kayah said the dialogue was intended to create the platform for citizens to be aware of their rights when it comes water, sanitation and hygiene in the country.

Mr. Kayah indicated that issue of water is a human right matter that the entire world has recognized and as such Liberia as a signatory to several accords must respect these protocols by ensuring it provide safe water , sanitation and hygiene.

He urged the citizens to always engage their representatives on the provision of safe drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene.

The WASH CSO Advocate told the citizens that lots of efforts have been exerted that local organizations and the National legislature to ensure the passage of the act creating the WASH commission.

In a related Several development, WASH Advocates are calling on the president to appoint officials to the commission.

The WASSH actors believe that when this commission become operational it will help in resolving the issues of fragmentation funding and governance of governance.

It can be recalled that in October of last year the Liberian Senate concord with the House of Representatives in passing the WASH Commission bill.

Many Liberians, especially underprivileged and marginalized viewed the passage of the bill the law makers as timely and life saving .

According to them,   the passage of the bill certainly bring to fruition the dream of many Liberians who are faced with the issues of water, sanitation and hygiene.

 

 

Increasing Forest Value -EPA, LFSP Get US$37M Projec

By Mafanta Kromah

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP), is working on a US$37million project.

Supported by the Norwegian Government, the project focuses on three areas including the protection of areas under forest covered in targeted forest landscapes, Emission Reductions and carbon sequestration and people in targeted forests adjacent communities and increasing monetary values of the forest.

Beneficiaries are communities mostly dependent on forest resources from the northwestern region of the country, covering Bomi, Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount and Lofa Counties; and the southeastern region; Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Rivercess and River Gee Counties.

EPA says other collaborators include: Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo–information Services (LISGIS)

It also explains that the forest plays an invaluable role to the survival of humans; providing services such as water, carbon storage and biodiversity.

Liberia requires the development of a management plan to provide guidance on use, access and management of forest resources, considering the legal framework to convey legal rights and responsibilities.

Providing certain historical facts relative to community forest in Liberia, the statement recalls that Community forestry first came to importance in the mid-70s and continued to evolve over the last few decades in a growing number, stressing that some milestone achievements of recent are the establishment of the National Forest Reform Law (NFRL) of 2006 which deals with the community, commercial conservation aspects of the forest, known as the three C’s principle.

“Three Cs”s approach to forest management, whereas Community forest management is an evolving branch of forestry where by the local community play a significant role in forest management and land use. Community Forestry involves the participation and collaboration of various stakeholders,” the FDA official averred”

In her presentation, Ruth Varnie, FDA’s Regional Forester of Region One, presenting on the topic, “Community Forest Management: Processes, Practices, Rights and Responsibilities,” pointed out that Liberia is one of the few countries with legal framework that purposely addresses community rights to forest.

This framework, Mrs. Varnie averred, includes legislation and regulations that outline the process to secure community forest rights, while taking into consideration the implementation of pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of the Framework.

Accordingly, in Liberia, this requires the development of a management plan to provide guidance on use, access and management of forest resources, considering the legal framework to convey legal rights and responsibilities.

Giving some historical facts relative to community forest in Liberia, she recalled that Community forestry first came to importance in the mid-70s and continued to evolve over the last few decades in a growing number.

The FDA boss noted that some milestone achievements of recent are the establishment of the National Forest Reform Law (NFRL) of 2006 which deals the community, commercial conservation aspects of the forest, known as the three C’s principle.