The Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector is critical to the socio-economic development of Ghana, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, said Tuesday.
In her keynote address during the opening of the 2021 Mole Conference (Mole XXXII) being held at Ejisu, near Kumasi, Dapaah said the government remained committed to the provision of potable water sanitation and hygiene services across the country due to their socio-economic and health benefits to citizens.
Over the past four years, the minister added that, the government had implemented a number of water and sanitation projects across the country, including the Tamale water supply project targeted at 790,000 people, the Yendi water supply project to benefit 133,000 people, and the Damongo water supply project, expected to benefit 68,684 persons.
The minister also listed the water supply projects at Wenchi for 101,870 persons, Sunyani for 405,000 people, Keta for 422,160 people, and the Secondi-Takoradi for 1,4 million persons.
Dapaah added that additional funding had been secured to complete outstanding works on the laying of water distribution lines in low income communities in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) under the Sanitation and Water Program (SWP).
“It is only when as a country, we are able to make available adequate WASH facilities and ensure their effective and efficient use by the good people of Ghana that we can confidently say that we are on track to achieving the SDGs,” added Dapaah.
Mole conference is the annual gathering of the WASH sector players in the country and is organized by the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), the umbrella body of all state and non-state actors in the sector.
Yaw Attah Arhin, the chairman of CONIWAS, urged the government to redouble efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal-six (SDG-6) by the due date.
“Nationally, progress towards delivering on our commitments to SDG-6 for water and sanitation has rather been slow”, with sanitation is especially lagging,” stated Arhin.
He said Ghana needed to accelerate the rate of progress in order to achieve the 2030 goals and make sanitation-for-all a reality.
Arhin pointed out that the COVID-19 outbreak had heightened the importance of building resilience to respond to emergencies and the outbreak of infectious diseases, calling for efforts to build this resilience and get things right.
The theme for the five-day conference is: “Repositioning the WASH sector for Emergency Response and Sustainable Development.” END