-Says Cities Alliance Boss
MONROVIA: The Manager of Cities Alliance Liberia Country Program, Mr. Francisco Mariano Juarez Lopez, says for the past years, it has been a true learning curve for the programme that went through challenging times including the COVID-19 pandemic. He, however, added that the passion to support the solid waste sector remained vibrant.
According to him, despite the challenges, the programme succeeded in setting-up the microfinance loan facility which is one of its kinds in Liberia that offer financial services to entrepreneurs of the solid waste management sector as a revolving fund.
According to Lopez, the revolving fund scheme is an innovation in the solid waste sector in Liberia, and therefore, requires trained technicians for its success and sustainability.
Mr. Lopez thanked the government of Liberia through Madam Paulita C.C. Wie, Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, who serves as Chairperson of the MLTC.
He also recognized the continued participation and engagement of representatives of MCC, PCC and EPA in establishing the micro-loan facility for CBEs.
He made the statement at the close of a 5-day capacity building training in Financial Management for government officials and private sector representatives working in the solid waste management sector in Greater Monrovia.
Cities Alliance Provides “Capacity Building Training Workshop for the Micro-loan Technical Committee Officials in financial Management”.
Within the project scope, Cities Alliance established the CBE/SME Micro-Loan finance facility worth $300,000 in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, ECOBANK, National Association of Community Based Enterprises (NACOBE), Monrovia City Corporation and Paynesville City Corporation.
The establishment of the Micro Loan financial facility resulted in the successful award of loans to Community Based Enterprises worth $267,345 to 21 Community Based Enterprises.
The objective of the microfinance facility is to provide financial support to CBEs as a revolving fund to procure equipment and tools to support solid waste collection services at community level.
Based on the establishment of the Micro Loan financial facility, Cities Alliance coordinated with public institutions that comprise the CBEs/SMEs Micro Loan Technical Committee (MLTC) to provide oversight and management of the facility.
The MLTC, chairs by the Ministry of Internal Affairs comprises the EPA, MCC, PCC and NACOBE.
The 5-days training that has been successfully concluded, was aimed at strengthening the capacity of government officials who are members of the MLTC, to manage the operations of the Micro Loan facility established to support Community Based Enterprises and Small and Medium Enterprises serving in the solid waste sector.
It is therefore based upon this background that Cities Alliance hired the services of Liberia Urban Management Solution, a Liberian firm, to provide capacity building training and certification of the 22 members of the MLTC in Financial Management.
Making specific reference to the MLTC, Mr. Lopez emphasized that “now is your time to continue this historic initiative to achieve success and I wish you the very best in managing this microloan facility.”
With funding from the European Union, Cities Alliance has been implementing a 4-year Solid Waste Management Programme, titled: “Delivering Climate Resilient Solid Waste Management Services in Greater Monrovia Liberia through CBEs.”
The overall programme objective is to provide technical assistance to Monrovia and Paynesville Cities to establish and develop a citywide integrated solid waste management system.
Also making special remarks, Madam Paulita C.C. Wie, Chairperson of the CBEs/ SMEs Micro Loan Technical Committee, thanked the European Union for the financial support and the Cities Alliance for the implementation of the project, and those participating in the training for a job well done.
Speaking specifically to the MLTC, Madam Wie emphasized: “The donors will leave, but you who have been trained over the past five days on how to manage the facility and you will have to shoulder the responsibility and make sure that what you’ve learned is put into practice so that Monrovia and Paynesville are kept clean”.
She stressed that transparency and accountability will be the MLTC key role model and promised that the management of the facility will be corruption-free. Madam Wie also thanked the trainers and experts for the knowledge provided during the training.