WaterAid To Appoint President Sirleaf Goodwill Ambassador

Saturday, 25th October 2008
Monrovia, Liberia - The United Kingdom based international NGO WaterAid has disclosed plans to appoint President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as its Goodwill Ambassador for Water and sanitation Africa.
   Disclosing this during a courtesy call 0n Vice President Joseph N. Boakai Thursday evening, the head of WaterAid West Africa region, Mr. Idrissa Doucoure said in this capacity, President Sirleaf will be expected to champion the cause of water and sanitation for the poor in Africa.
  Mr. Doucoure observed that water and sanitation was critical for poverty reduction, saying that there was need for someone at the highest level of leadership in Africa to convince his or her peers about the need to prioritize water in their development agenda.
  Meanwhile, Mr. Doucoure has also disclosed plans by WaterAid to establish its West Africa headquarters in Liberia.
  Mr. Doucoure,  accompanied by the Programme Officer of WaterAid Ghana, Madam Destina Samani arrived in the country Wednesday ,  to follow-up on a study initiated by WaterAid in July to assess the need to come in and support the government of Liberia to provide water and sanitation for poor communities. He said initial findings from the study have been very encouraging, clearly showing that there is need for WaterAid to come in and provide support to the Liberian government.
   In remarks, Vice President Boakai thanked WaterAid for deciding to appoint President Johnson Sirleaf as ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ for water and Sanitation in Africa.
   He noted that as the first female President of Africa, Madam Johnson Sirleaf was best suited for such honor, considering that women in the African setting deal with water more than anyone else.
   “Most women’s stories are connected with water, either for cooking or washing; so nobody can better promote water than her,” Vice President Boakai further noted.
   “In fact the President has made the provision of clean and safe drinking water to every village in Liberia, a priority, because we know the value of water as the first line of health. You can do without electricity, without even good roads, but people have to have good drinking water as a first way of preventing sickness,” Vice President Boakai added.
   He said the WaterAid program was an important one, and assured the Liberian government’s fullest support in its implementation, emphasizing, “One of the deliverables of this government is access to clean drinking water,” he added.
   The Liberian Vice President has also welcomed plans by WaterAid to establish its West Africa headquarters in Liberia.  

The WaterAid delegation was accompanied to the Vice President’s office by the Managing Director of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, Mr. Hun-bu Tulay.