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Water and sanitation still not priorities under NPP– Chiana/Paga MP

The Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament Select Committee of Work and Housing, Hon Rudolf Nsowine Amenga-Etigo, has questioned the commitment of the government to improving access to water and sanitation, so that Ghana could attain Sustainable Development Goal-6 by 2030.

Contributing to the 2019 budget debate, he said the Ministry of Water and Sanitation as well as Work and Housing has shown little results under the Akufo-Addo administration.

Mr. Amenga-Etigo, who is MP for Chiana/Paga, partly blamed this on the allocation of financial resources to the two Ministries.

“Speaker, since 2017, the government depend largely on donor support. This shows the government lack commitment to the water and sanitation sector. When you look at the budget, it shows that 84.6% of budget funding for water is from the donor agencies. Mr Speaker, you know the donor agencies are not reliable and cannot sustain our water sector,” he stated.

Similarly, in 2017, Members of Parliament expressed concern with the financial constraints at the Works and Housing as well as Water and Sanitation Ministries.

This, Mr Amenga-Etigo argued that, despite the creation of the Water and Sanitation Ministry, water and sanitation are still not top priorities for government, stressing that a country’s development and people’s wellbeing depends on efficient use of water.

He said, the current rate of sanitation and provision of water is very minimal, indicating the government not prioritizing the sector, pointing that the quality of sanitation coverage is an emerging area of concern, with many communities latrines classified as “unimproved.”

The MP further expressed the concern that, in urban areas, piped water supply reaches only about one-third of the population, and there is no systematic sewer disposal and treatment system.

The Chiana/Paga lawmaker also took a swipe on the government for doing little to improve the housing deficit in the country, nothing that, instead of the Ministry of Work and Housing building, “is rather specialized in destruction, demolishing to give way for a Cathedral.”

He asked the government to give timeline for projects, for in his view, many of the projects budgeted for 2017 and 2018, are being repeated in the 2019 budget and questioned the rational of doing so, if indeed the government was committed in delivery such projects.

He mocked the government with its intention projects, stating that, “we need what they have implemented, the concrete policies they have implemented and not their intention or what they intend to do.”

The Deputy Ranking member cautioned the government against vain promises on water and sanitation and ensure the promises are kept because people are dying from the lack of these basics of life.

He called on government to provide financial resources to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation to provide access to clean and adequate water, especially for the rural dwellers to prevent water-borne diseases.

He said access to clean drinking water, effective sanitation, and education on the importance of good hygiene practice, were some of the most cost effective ways of achieving results in health.

Sanitation and water, he noted were at the core of sustainable development, and that the Ministry should be resourced to achieve much of the developmental targets of the country.

The MP said there was the need for the country to have Water Marshals to address the need for long term sustainability and scale of small water enterprises.

Source’: www.therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba

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