Key official of Water Sanitation and Hygiene Network in Sierra Leone (WASH-Net) with support from WaterAid have over the weekend of August 29th-30th 2015, trained a selection of community stakeholders on how to hold their duty bearers to account in providing basic Social Services like WASH at community level. The training took place at the Jabex Complex Waterloo in Western Rural District.
Giving an overview of the training the Program Manager WASH-Net Emmanuel Sandy said the training was very vital for stakeholders in various communities. He said need for a rights-based approach training is to help facilitate a process whereby the citizens are empowered to hold the State accountable to honour their human rights and legal entitlements. He noted that it also works towards assuring the most vulnerable and marginalized people are protected and served.
“The rights-based approach empowers people and also amplifies their voices to demand for their right and also supporting them to discharge their responsibilities,” he said.
Making his presentation, Executive Chairman of WASH-Net, Mr. Musa Ansumana Soko underscored the importance of the training, adding that providing rights based knowledge for community people will help them demand for their rights.
He said the training increases community ownership and strengthens the right to demand for effective service delivery in the country. He said RBA is a transformation tool which empowers citizen and is a perfect example of what ‘Advocacy’ is all about.
He said among all services affecting the people, access to safe drinking water, sanitation and poor hygiene conditions has posed serious challenges at community level. He cited negative effects that women and children face in accessing safe drinking water.
He stated that for sustainability of advocacy, community involvement is very important so he said the training will create a wider community ownership in decision making especially in raising awareness to make positive change in the society.
In his facilitation the Executive Secretary WASH-Net Victor Lansana Koroma recalled how WASH Advocacy has been going on within the country and the positive impact such is making for the people. He said in doing their advocacy work, they believe in evidence-based advocacy. He pointed out that the role of WASH-Net is to advocate for the people.
This, he said was through the provision of the enabling environment such as capacity building of residents in communities alongside an eventual sharpening of the knowledge of the people for them to rise and demand their rights.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.