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We are committed to the WASH Project – Sanitation Minister

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The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah has revealed that, Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has made and is still making great efforts to make the WASH services accessible to all Ghanaians.

This came to light during the launch of of the Urban Resilience by Building and Applying New Evidence in WASH (URBAN-WASH) project supported by the USAID.

The Initiative is a five-year USAID research and learning activity (2021-
2026) to generate evidence through applied research to promote
sustainable, equitable and climate-resilient WASH and Water Resources
Management policies and programming in urban and peri-urban areas.

The speech of Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources which was delivered on her behalf by the Director of Administration, Mrs. Patricia Simpson indicated that, several strategies have been adopted to ensure universal water access saying, even though, evidence shows that access to basic water services in urban areas stands at 96.4% per the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) Population and Housing Census,2021, there is evidence that some segments of the population within the lower income group still lack acce:s to basic water services.

“With the support of the World Bank and the government of Denmark, service pipelines and household connections have been extended to some communities within the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Areas which hitherto did not have access to basic water
services and were buying water from third parties which in most cases, are not properly regulated and as such there are issues with water quality and affordability”.

According to Hon. Abena Dapaah, a number of Water Supply Systems are being
constructed in regions under the “Water for All” agenda mentioning, Sekondi-Takoradi water supply project, Tamale water supply project, Damongo water supply project, Yendi water supply project, Sunyani water supply project, Keta water supply project, Techiman water supply project and Wenchi water supply project.

“Aside what the Ministry and its Agencies are undertaking, other partners are also implementing pro-poor subsidy programmes. It will be useful to have more knowledge on which of the programmes are scalable, financially sustainable and can effectively reach the most vulnerable. It will also be useful to build on Studies which have already been done in Ghana around equity and inclusion in WASH”.

The Acting Health Office Director for USAID, Heather Robinson on her part averred that, the new project would support the Government of Ghana to address critical knowledge gaps around urban and peri-urban water service delivery and promote evidence-based policy, planning and programming.

“Over the past thirty years, Ghana’s urban population has more than tripled, but the water supply in cities has not grown at the same pace. By 2050, around 70 percent of Ghanaians are expected to live in urban areas like Accra, Kumasi, and Tamale. Unfortunately, for example, in the Greater Accra Region, less than 30 percent of households in low-income areas have access to piped water”.

She pointed out that, since 2009, USAID has been working with the Ghanaian government to help all Ganaians to access safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and good hygiene practices.

“We understand that water security is crucial for health, prosperity, stability, and resilience. Without proper planning for these services, rapid urbanization makes it difficult for water companies to provide safe and reliable water to everyone, particularly the poorest. Urban areas face challenges such as old infrastructure, commercial and industrial activities, and the effects of climate change, all of which can affect water supply”.

The project, Heather Robinson mentioned, would enable government to assess three key challenges in urban water management namely, water quality, fairness, and “nonrevenue water, which she stated refers to water that is lost before it reaches customers due to leaks, theft, or metering errors.

“Through this project, USAID and the Ghanaian government are working toward
the goal of ensuring that everyone has fair access to safe, sustainable, and
climate-resilient drinking water and sanitation services” .

 

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