Reward for Initiative

THE United Nations Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, has announced the selection of the Monrovia Fostering Innovative Sanitation and Hygiene, FISH, project as one of the 17 Lighthouse Activities to be showcased at the November 2013 UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland. Lighthouse activities projects are selected based on their innovative and transformative qualities, and are recognized for the value of the solutions to both climate change and wider economic, social and environmental challenges they propose to address.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary, UNFCCC, said the 2013 Lighthouse activities are true beacons of hope, demonstrating what happens when innovation and passion come together to address the biggest challenge of our time. “There are thousands of examples of people taking action to address climate change all over the world. The Lighthouse activities highlights some of the most practical, scalable and replicable examples of what people, businesses, governments and industries are doing to tackle climate change, which I hope will inspire others to do the same.

“The FISH project was designed to enhance Monrovia city’s capacity for sustainable city-wide fecal sludge management. The project complements efforts by the Government of Liberia and development partners to improve sanitation service access rates and reduce the vulnerability of the urban poor to diseases caused by water contamination resulting from open defecation and septic tank overflows. Akissa Bahri, coordinator of the African Water Facility, AWF, said that earlier this year, the project had received a €1.2 million grant from the African Water Facility, AWF, to cover 86 percent of the financing needed for its implementation.

“The selection of the Monrovia project is a much-deserved recognition of Liberia’s leadership in promoting innovation to deal more effectively with issues affecting peoples’ lives and build resilience to climate change. This also goes to show that improving sanitation services are a must-have component of any city’s resilience strategy, and that it is possible for fragile states to overcome sanitation challenges through the adoption of creative ideas meant to optimize resources recovery. The FISH project is a remarkable example to follow,” Bahri said.

Meanwhile, the 2013 Lighthouse activities were selected by a 16-member international advisory panel as part of the secretariat’s momentum for change initiative, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum.

Compiled by Chinwe Okafor

— Nov. 25, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

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