The Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources, the Upper East Regional Minister, regional and district directorates of the Ghana Health Services (GHS), Ghana Education Service (GES) and some traditional leaders in the Upper East region have lauded the management and staff of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Ghana for the implementation of live saving initiatives in the most deplorable communities in the region.
According to them CRS Ghana’s life-saving initiatives dubbed “Integrated Community Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement (ICOWASH)” Project currently being implemented across some of the poorest communities in the Upper East region have brought total relief to residents especially management and staff of the various healthcare facilities.
The expression of gratitude were made at a commissioning and handing-over ceremony of three (3) Limited Mechanized Water Systems held at the premises of the Nangodi Health Center in the Nabdam District.
Addressing the gathering at a short but colorful ceremony, the Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Issahaku Chinnia Amidu could not hide his excitement over the provision of the multi-million dollar water project across the region could not stop heaping praises on CRS Ghana for the quality of work it’s been doing in the country.
The deputy minister revealed that CRS Ghana had been a reliable partner in the WASH sector for decades and has brought smiles to kith and kin especially in the Upper East region.
“It is commendable that CRS Ghana in response to the need for prioritization of rural access to safe water, has since 2017, invested over 9 million dollars in the implementation of water, sanitation and hygiene activities in healthcare facilities, schools, and communities.” He said.
Mr. Amidu announced that the provision of WASH infrastructure by CRS Ghana falls in line with the Government of Ghana’s for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector which is, “Water and Sanitation for all”.
He acknowledged that his ministry recognizes that CRS Ghana’s interventions have contributed significantly to improving access to potable water and improving the quality of healthcare delivery and patient safety in Ghana especially in the rural areas.
The deputy minister explained that the government’s intentions and desire was to see every Ghanaian everywhere to have access to adequate, safe, affordable, reliable, and sustainable water services, and practice safe sanitation and hygiene.
“Currently, there is an access gap for basic sanitation and safe drinking water services, especially in rural areas. Whilst at the national level, 81% of the population have access to safe drinking water, access in the rural areas stands at 67%. There is therefore a compelling reason for the government and its partners to prioritize access to safe drinking water in rural communities.
It is in recognition of the fact government alone cannot do it all, is why other stakeholders are always welcomed to partner government in the provision of WASH services to our people to achieve universal water coverage by 2030 which is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 6).
“Today is an exciting day as we witness the handing over of these three well-constructed limited mechanized water systems, together with the previously provided WASH facilities. I hope that these facilities will be operated and maintained efficiently by the beneficiary and health facilities, Ghana health service, school and communities for continuous, and sustainable delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene services to those in need.” Mr. Amidu reiterated.
Meanwhile, the Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu in his welcome address called on the beneficiary communities and institutions to work together to ensure that the water systems and other WASH infrastructure provided by CRS Ghana are used for its intended purpose without compromising maintenance.
“This means that we must work tirelessly to put pragmatic measures in place to ensure that the system functioning at all times.” He said.
Mr. Yakubu assured that the Regional Coordinating Council as part of its mandate will be touring the facilities during its quarterly monitoring visits to see the state of these facilities to ensure that the systems work at all times.
He, therefore, thanked the management and staffs of CRS Ghana for their humanly centered and life-saving projects in the region and other parts of the country.
Story: Kwadwo Boubeng