Liberia will need to bridge a US$ 450 million funding gap to achieve the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) targets that it set for itself in 2017.
Liberia unveiled a five-year US$ 600 million investment plan to rebuild its WASH sector on 7 February 2013. The sector is still recovering from decades of civil war. However, only US$ 150 million of the required amount is covered by existing support from development partners. A large part of remaining US$ 450 million will need to come from user payments for urban WASH services.
The WASH Sector Investment Plan, developed with support from the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), outlines what is needed to achieve the targets set in the Agenda for Transformation (Liberia’s second Poverty Reduction Strategy). The basis for the plan is a digital map and inventory of more than 10,000 water points across the country. WSP conducted the inventory using Akvo FLOW, a mobile phone-based field survey tool .
More than half of the required funding is earmarked for improving urban WASH services, which includes a shift from shallow wells to urban piped water systems. Other funding priorities are rural WASH services; water and sanitation services in schools, clinics and public areas; and capacity building .
In 2010, an estimated 18% of the population had access to improved sanitation . WSP estimates that Liberia loses US$ 17.5 million per year due to poor sanitation. This equals US$ 4.9 per person per year or 2.0% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) .
In January 2012, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf signed the Liberia WASH Compact, a product of the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) Partnership .
 Mark Tiele Westra, Using Akvo FLOW in Liberia, Akvo Blog, 16 Apr 2012
 Capacity development plan and Capacity development needs assessment, Liberia WASH Portal, Feb 2013
 WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, 2012. Estimates for the use of improved sanitation facilities : Liberia. Available at: washurl.net/1m6odi
 Sittoni, T. and Maina, S., 2012. Liberia loses USD17.5 million annually due to poor sanitation. (Economic impacts of poor sanitation in Africa). Washington, DC, USA, Water and Sanitation Program. Available at: washurl.net/7jai08
 Liberia: President Sirleaf finally signs WASH Compact, E-Source, 30 Mar 2012
Related web sites:
- Liberia WASH Portal: www.wash-liberia.org
- Sanitation and Water for All – Country Processes: www.sanitationandwaterforall.org/countryprocesses.html
Source: UN Country Team in Liberia, Reliefweb, 07 Feb 2013