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Community Based Enterprises (CBEs) working in the area of waste management in Liberia have received a boost from the European Union through Cities Alliance to help address the escalating problem of solid waste management, sanitation and hygiene in Liberia's biggest commercial center known as Red Light and the largest slum communities of West Point and Clara Town.
The CBEs were presented starter kits comprising rain gears, gloves, rakes, shovels and push carts and motorised three-wheeled pick up as part of logistical support from the EU under the project ”Delivering Climate-Resilient Solid Waste Management Services in Greater Monrovia.”
Implemented in close coordination with Liberia's Environmental Protection Agency and the City corporations of Monrovia and of Paynesville, the project seeks to address the immediate health, social and economic effects of climate change by building on long-term support and helping the Government of Liberia achieve the objectives set out in global agendas, including the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA/GCCA+) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Climate change is having a major impact on Liberia, which is facing longer, unpredictable rainy seasons accompanied by hygiene concerns and the potential spread of disease. The situation is especially urgent in Monrovia and Paynesville, already the world’s wettest urban areas, where flooding and poor primary waste collection pose significant health risks and threaten livelihoods.
Speaking during the presentation of the equipment to the CBEs, Francisco Juarez, Program Head of Cities Alliance, stressed that CBEs are vital to the waste management of any city and they should be supported in order to improve sanitation and hygiene.
Ms Vera Kellen, Programme Manager for Rural Development and Climate Change at the European Union in Liberia urged the CBEs to directly engage households at the community level in sorting and management of waste.
The president of the National Association of Community Based Enterprises (NACOBE), Mr Kamara, welcomed the support of the EU and Cities alliance and reminded the CBEs to take the donation seriously, as it opens up doors for the future – economically and environmentally.
The provision of the starter kits is the result of a needs assessment carried out during a capacity building workshop hosted by Cities Alliance in late 2018, which focused on solid waste management in the rainy season and how to reduce the impact of climate change.
The EUD in Liberia has been an active supporter to Liberia's solid waste management sector since 2009 with, among other things, the construction of Liberia's first sanitary landfill in Whein Town under the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund and continuous support until today to both primary and secondary waste collection. The project implemented by Cities Alliance is thus part of a larger programme to support climate change mitigation solutions as outlined in Liberia's Nationally Determined Contributions by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste management services, building capacity of key actors as well as creating awareness among the population.