David Aidoo Writes: Is Climate Change Calling For More WASH Financing In Ghana?

Climate change is affecting all facets of the world, more particularly water resources. The unpredictability of the weather and the frequency of extreme weather conditions are making life difficult for both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. In the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) sector, more rural communities are impacted the most by water shortage, and climate change is making it even worse.

The question one will ask is, has the Ghana government’s efforts on financing to mitigate climate change been enough towards achieving the SDG6?

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) states that climate change means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable periods.

The World Bank’s Climate Change Action Plan states that climate change presents enormous challenges and opportunities for development, and more specifically on WASH, making it essential that climate and development be tackled in an integrated way. The world needs to feed 9 billion people by 2050, provide affordable energy access to all, and extend housing and services to 2 billion new urban dwellers. We can only get close to achieving these if there is adequate provision of WASH services in the world. Hence, it is apparent for world leaders to continuously increase and prioritize WASH financing as one of the tools of managing climate change and its associated impacts. 
Climate Change in Ghana.

Climate change is manifest in Ghana through rising temperatures, declining levels of rainfall and increased variability, rising sea levels, and high incidence of weather extremes and disasters. The average annual temperature has increased by 1°C in the last 30 years. Ghana’s effort to climate change mitigation has been hailed globally through the implementation of the REDD+ program. Ghana’s climate change “is projected to affect Ghana’s vital water resources, energy supplies, crop production, and food security”, calling for immediate actions, more especially financing climate-related activities. Again, the nation’s National Climate Change Policy developed in 2013 institutionalized mechanisms to effectively manage climate change in the country.

The policy principles are in conformity with the existing national policies, and statutes provide strategic direction and coordinate issues of climate change in the country. The policy has prioritized five (5) main areas: (i) Agriculture and Food Security (ii) Disaster Preparedness, and Response (iii) Natural Resource Management (iv) Equitable Social Development (v) Energy, Industrial and Infrastructural Development. These five areas affect WASH services, directly and indirectly, calling for an increase in WASH financing to mitigate climate impact on these areas.
Climate Change and Water Sanitation & Hygiene Services Linkages