Who: Water Aid; an international organisation
that assists communities to access safer water, hygiene and
sanitation1; Joe Lambongang, Acting Country Director
WaterAid Transboundary – Liberia
What: Both Liberia and Sierra Leone were
declared Ebola free last year, but WaterAid, a British
Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has warned that both countries
might experience an epidemic similar to that of Ebola in terms of
severity of the impacts "if we do not see action to improve
water, sanitation and hygiene practices in our communities, schools
and healthcare facilities," WaterAid's Joe
Lambongang announced in a statement2. The Chairman
of the Liberia WASH Civil Society Organisations Network, Mr Prince
Kreplah commended the government for improving health care
facilities and also highlighted the fact that more needed to be
done in terms of WASH in the country3. In Liberia,
WaterAid provided 13,000 people with safe water last year, and
11,000 people with improved sanitation4. Dr
Francis Kateh, the Deputy Minister of the Health of Liberia thanked
WaterAid for all the effort they have made in improving WASH in the
When: WaterAid and other Water Sanitation and
Hygiene (WASH) stakeholders presented a joint communique to the
Liberian Ministry of Health on 8 August 2016.
Where: The communique was presented to the
Deputy Minister of Health Dr Francis Kateh at the Ministry of
Health in Liberia.
Why: According to WaterAid, 4 million Liberians
do not have access to proper sanitation and 1 million Liberians are
without access to safe water5 while in Sierra Leone 5
million people do not have access to proper sanitation and 2
million people don't have access to safe
water6. Songhai Consultant based in Monrovia
attests to this, saying that "the quality of water services
in Liberia is poor and makes the country vulnerable to
Outlook: One of the serious matters arising
from an absence of proper sanitation is the conundrum of getting
proper waste management facilities. At the end of the civil war,
the Liberian Government had plans to establish certain institutions
to deal with water and sanitation. For example it intended to
create a ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation in
20077. But til date, such a ministry does not exist.
That could be one of the main reasons why a significant proportion
of the population lacks access to proper sanitation and safe water;
the lack of a designated institution or ministry8.
However, with the Liberian president now as an ambassador of
WaterAid and given the damning findings of the report, there will
likely be increased pressure on the government to make significant
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Apart from feeble attempts by health authorities and efforts of charitable organizations, little has been done in Nigeria and a host of underdeveloped and developing economies to tackle the issue of mental health and indeed the law governing that very field of Medicare.
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