Monrovia – 6 February 2018, The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in collaboration with its implementing partner the Universal Empowerment Mission (UEM) concluded a three-month project aimed to provide sanitation and hygiene education in four communities of Bensonville, capital city of Monstserrado County. This project was funded through UNMIL’s Quick Impact Project (QIP) funding mechanism.
The main objective was to prompt environmental awareness and behavioural change leading to a reduction in preventable diseases such as diarrhea in the Kolliemen, Crozierville, Gbokolleh and Gbankaloh towns.
A ceremony marking the conclusion of this initiative was attended by UNMIL and UEM staff, community leaders, school authorities and students. The project’s major achievements include: trainers having been trained and now ready to sensitize communities, schools and community health centres; health clubs and community sanitation committees have been formed and trained.
Overall, through mass hygiene and sanitation education 500 women, 400 men, 600 children, 25 of them integrated refugees, have increased knowledge on sanitation and hygiene education, leading to behaviour change in communities.
During the ceremony, students of the Frank E. Tolbert Public High School staged a drama based on improving health and sanitation facilities in schools and communities. The importance of good hygiene practices were stressed; such as keeping sanitation facilities and surroundings clean, waste disposal, good eating habits and effective hand washing with soap and clean water. The formation of school health clubs was highlighted as fundamental to ensuring maintenance of sanitation facilities.
According to UNMIL Political Affairs Officer, Sanja Jovanovska, the greatest investments are in children and health and both aspects are covered through this initiative. “Even though today we are concluding this project that should not be the end of it. I hope you will continue to practice the good hygiene lessons you have learned.” she said.
“UNMIL is leaving soon but UN presence will remain through UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes. I was happy to learn that this project was the fruit of a community assessment; rendering it sustainable. I therefore encourage you all to continue undertaking needs assessments and to cooperate with the UN presence which will be here after UNMIL's departure.” added Ms. Jovanovska.