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Government Develops Policy Framework for WASH Sector

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The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. has officially launched the Ghana WASH Sector Development Programme with the primary objective of ensuring an effective coordination and implementation of WASH activities in the country.

This is to contribute to the achievement of national, continental and global visions, goals and targets for integrated water resources management and sustainable WASH services for everyone living and working in Ghana by 2030.

In her speech, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah mentioned that, Ghana’s strategic goal is to accelerate and enhance access to equitable WASH services throughout the country, using a multi-faceted approach while emphasising on governance and sector institutional strengthening to improve service delivery and increase the sustainability of WASH services.

Among the Programme specific objectives she indicated is to ensure that efforts to deliver WASH services are well-coordinated;

Again, addressing key sector challenges that limit the provision and sustenance of WASH services and the conservation of water resources, through strategic planning, institutional development and system strengthening;

Also, encouraging wider stakeholder participation in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and reporting on WASH services and activities.

Prioritising positive and sustainable behaviour change in safe WASH practices; and ensuring accountability and transparency.

The Minister urged all sector players and partners to use the document as a guide in developing programmes and projects for implementation. “Let us work together, learn from one another, share our experiences, successes and celebrate milestones achieved as we look forward to an increased and equitable access to sustainable WASH services”.

The Government according to Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah in collaboration with WASH Development Partners, is working to mobilise the required resources to ensure increased access to WASH services in the country.

The Ghana WASH Sector Development Programme she hinted, has provided estimates on how much funds is needed to be mobilised for the Sector annually, until the deadline for achieving the SDGs.

It is estimated that, US$ 8 million is required for water resources management; US$ 420 million for urban water supply; US$ 350 million for rural and community water supply;
• US$ 800 million for sanitation (US$ 700 and US$ 100 million for urban and rural areas, respectively); US$ 60 million for hygiene; and another US$ 60 million for system strengthening and institutional development.

thank the World Bank Group for financing the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) Sanitation and Water Projects.

She recounted some transformative WASH initiatives that have been implemented over the past years disclosing that, in the rural water sub-sector, there are ongoing reforms to transition the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) from a facilitator to a rural water utility which she said is a key Government Reform Agenda that would help overcome the remaining service delivery challenges that persist in the rural communities.

“In the urban sub-sector, the poor are receiving enhanced attention, as Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has established a Low-Income Customer Department (LICSD) to facilitate the provision of water to these peri-urban communities. The Water Resources Commission (WRC) is doubling its efforts to safeguard the integrity of water resources through improved regulation and monitoring of the pollutants including pathogenic microorganisms, organic waste, fertilizers and plant nutrients, toxic chemicals, sediments, heat, petroleum (oil) and radioactive substances in water bodies. The sanitation sub-sector has increased its capacity nationwide to ensure that households have access to sustainable toilets, whilst institutions like schools and health care facilities have decent, gender-friendly toilets. All these are geared towards stopping open defecation”.

The Government and its partners the Minister revealed, are continually retooling and enhancing capacity of Sector Agencies to overcome challenges that have bedevilled the sector, so as to realise their vision to achieve SDG 6, which is to ensure sustainable basic water and sanitation services for all by the year 2030.

“We are committed to ensure that all people living in Ghana have access to adequate, safe, affordable, and reliable basic water service, practice safe sanitation and hygiene”.

The Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah stated under leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have made significant strides in promoting sustainable water and sanitation services delivery in the country.

“Currently, population with access to basic drinking water services has increased from 79% in 2017/2018 to 87.7% in 2021. Population with access to improved toilet facilities, including public toilets has also increased from 66% to 80.8% within the same period. The Government, through the MSWR is investing an amount of US$ 1.4 billion in several water and sanitation projects nationwide. Some of these projects have been completed and others are still ongoing. It is expected that about 5.3 million people will benefit from these interventions. Government has also partnered with other key stakeholders and the Private Sector to provide water and sanitation infrastructure”.

The Guest speaker for the occasion, Mr. Saroj Kumar Jha, Global Director for Water Practice Group of the World Bank on his part expressed appreciations to the Government of Ghana for doing everything possible to make water safe and accessible to all Ghanaians.

He pointed out that, it is great to have ideas but said,without funds the work cannot be done and assured of World Bank’s continues support to the Government.

 

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