The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has called on stakeholders in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to explore sustainable funding sources.
She said that would help build robust infrastructure to facilitate the delivery of better services in that sector.
At a two-day WASH sector performance review meeting (PRM) that closed last Friday, Ms Dapaah said the government alone could not shoulder the responsibility of delivering the WASH sector infrastructure at the current pace of the country’s population growth.
She said although the MSWR, with the support of development partners, had undertaken some WASH interventions since 2017 to bring sustainable WASH services to the doorstep of the people, those initiatives were not enough to achieve the overall target.
"It is, therefore, imperative for key actors in the WASH space to develop innovative ways of attracting funding for the sector," she said.
Collaboration is key
Ms Dapaah said a careful analysis of the challenges was required to inform policy direction and help with the development and formulation of new interventions to ensure the attainment of water and sanitation for all by the end of 2030.
She called on all sector agencies to set performance targets and agree with the MSWR and the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) on those goals for proper reporting.
"As co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates for the SDGs, it is the desire of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that Ghana takes bold strides towards the attainment of the SDG on water and sanitation – create and keep a clean environment throughout the country and provide water for all,” the minister said.
She added that it was important for stakeholders in the WASH sector to continue to work together "in the spirit of transparency, cohesion, synergy and accountability".
"We need to strive together and continue to strengthen the partnerships and collaborations to attain the goals that we have collectively set for ourselves to make Ghana a better place," Ms Dapaah said.
The PRM objectives
The PRM provided a platform for all stakeholders in the water and the sanitation sub-sectors, including the political leadership, sector institutions, decentralised structures, water sector professionals, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and development partners, to discuss and review the performance of the ministry and the sector agencies for the period 2018 to 2021.
It gave the participants the opportunity to take stock of the status of the achievements of the sector, vis-a-vis national and international targets for the period 2018 to 2021.
Again, through the PRM, the participants reviewed key achievements and challenges in the sector, as well as proposed strategies and actions which would accelerate the achievement of water and sanitation targets.
The meeting was also a platform to build consensus on measures and mitigation plans for challenges within the sector.
Aside from those, it helped the development partners to appreciate the focus areas and the direction of the ministry within the medium term (2022 to 2025) to enable them to develop their respective interventions to suit the agenda.
WASH sector performance
The 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) report released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) revealed that the population with access to basic drinking water services increased from 78 per cent in 2017 to 87.7 per cent as of the end of 2021.
The PHC statistics also showed that during the same period, the population with access to basic sanitation facilities increased from 15 per cent in 2017 to 25.3 per cent in 2021.
Ms Dapaah said the improvement in the WASH sector was largely attributable to the government’s inputs and the support received from the development partners.
However, she said, the implementation of most of the interventions had been hit with some setbacks and that had hindered the attainment of the planned targets and objectives.
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