By: Berttee Forkpabio
The head of the regional office for Water Aid in Dakar ,Senegal madam Marime Dem has underscored the need for journalists of the National WASH networks to be present at all discussion when leaders are discussing policy that will make an impact on the nation’s development.
According to Dakar regional head, journalist need to be proactive in their reportage in amplifying the voices of the poor and hold their leaders to an account for ever commitment signed unto. Something she said it was important for strong citizens to demand for the rights of the people and call duty bearers to provide the rights of the people at national, regional and globally.
Madam Dem said Journalists are the best people to ensure that the voices of the people are heard and leaders of the people who have committed their support can be put to tax by their voices.
Madam Dem noted that during her visit at the UN high level on the post MDGs 2015 meeting, WASH journalists was lacking which was disappointing for her. Something she said was a challenge that they as partners needed to work on to ensure that the visibility of WASH journalists be seem at all time when leaders are discussing developmental issues of countries situations especially as it relates to WASH issues.
However, Water Aid regional head said it is dissatisfying to know that women are still struggling to have access to improved water and sanitation and that journalists who are to raise the awareness on water, sanitation issues are lacking of support at all levels.
Speaking at the West African Water and sanitation journalists network third bi-annual general meeting in Dakar, senegal, madam Dem call on the national networks to be more vigilant as duty bearers to Forster the cause of WASH at all time.
For his part, The senior outreach Communication officer for water supply and sanitation Collaborative Council have acknowledge the important role journalists play over the two year since the existence of the West African WASH Networks.
Mr. David Trouba noted that journalists are great people who have the ability to rise the issues of water and sanitation at all levels and hold stakeholders, international partners to account for ever commitment they have signed unto.
The senior outreach Communication officer for water supply and sanitation Collaborative Council said achieving universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene WASH journalists need to be present at all levels to ensure that the remaining 2.5 million lives can be save and yield to £150 billion a year for the global economy.
Something he believe that journalists reportage on WASH will mean Everyone Everywhere will have access to improved drinking water sources under the MDG on environmental sustainability, which nation target to significantly improve the lives of least 100 million slum-dwellers by 2020.
According to the release of Water Aid, While progress has been made rapidly in urbanization , it
means that interventions to improve basic services are being outpaced by the growth in
demand, and gains for the world’s current slum-dwellers may be rapidly undone.
The 3-day exercise was held from April 8-10, 2013 at the ONOMO Hotel which brought together 36 WASH participants from the 14 West African Countries and partners to discuss the way forward of the Network.