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|Draft Nat’l Water Policy, Roadmap Concluded National Stakeholders’ Meeting Soon|
|Published on May 30, 2007||Email To Friend Print Version
A three-day Technical Review Meeting on the Draft National Water Policy and Roadmap leading to the adoption of an Integrated Water Resources Management in Liberia ended over the weekend at the Liberia Hydrological Service, Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy.
In his opening remarks, Acting Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, John C. Nylander outlined some of the problems associated with providing safe drinking water as well as water borne diseases to the lack of an adequate treatment and water resources management policy which needs urgent attention.
The Acting Lands, Mines and Energy boss said Liberia is endowed with immense water resources, so establishing a national integrated water resources management policy is necessary to help reduce the many water borne diseases as well as infant mortality.
Senior Programme Advisor of UNEP Collaborating Centre on Water and Environment (UCC-Water) and Consultant, Gerard Cougny, expressed the significance of the meeting. He pointed out that Liberia had started the process two years ago. He said the meeting is one of the last steps towards reforms in Liberia’s water resources management.
Mr. Cougny emphasized the need for Liberia just coming from war to sustain and manage its water resources efficiently for the economic growth of the people. He said after the technical review meeting, a national stakeholders meeting will be held to adopt policy documents guiding reform in the management of Liberia’s water resources that will be acceptable to other nations, and said such documents will be used to solicit support from donors.
The UCC-Water Consultant said water resources management is a very serious social problem for many countries including Liberia which has vast water resources and needs adequate regulations and guidelines for its management and usage.
Speaking on the issue of control, the Assistant Director of the Liberia Hydrological Service, Jefferson Wylie said there are various mandates which are cross-cutting; and fragmented, hence, the Service wants to ensure that water and sanitation is managed under one umbrella that will put away different rules and guidelines.
He said a properly planned integrated use of water resource help boost and improve agriculture and other water related projects such as construction and other domestic services.
The Assistant LHS Director noted that the National Stakeholders Meeting will shortly be held in Gbarnga, Bong County, in collaboration with UNDP, UNICEF, UCC-WATER, Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, Ministry of Public Works, and development superintendents from the 15 political sub-divisions of the country.
Mr. Wylie said it is incumbent upon development superintendents to attend the forthcoming stakeholders meeting because they will carry the message, call their own county leadership meetings where they will explain the importance of the policy to their citizens.
He extended thanks and appreciation to the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF and other agencies that have been supporting the water and sanitation program in Liberia.