…Says Ghana On Target In Providing Water To All
More than half of the Ghanaian population has access to clean water, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has disclosed.
According to him, Ghana has achieved 86% of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on water target of access to reliable clean water, but lags far behind on sanitation, with a coverage rate of 15% as against MDGs’ target of 54% rate.
The Sanitation and Water Resources minister pointed out that the disparities needed to be addressed, if Ghana sets a target of universal access to water and basic sanitation for all by 2025 and Sustainable Development Goal-6 by Vision 2030.
Mr. Kofi Adda stated these, when he opened the 77th African Water Association (AFWA) International Congress and Exhibition at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra yesterday.
He said, besides water and sanitation, the issue of the management of solid waste in Ghana remains a huge challenge, noting that, that is why hosting the 77th Water Association International Congress is important to Ghana.
Nevertheless, Mr. Adda said, the government has realised that the WASH provision is a shared responsibility and has therefore created the enabling environment for private sector participation and partnership to achieve the national goals and subsequently the SDGs.
He announced that, “the sanitation sub-sector would soon see a modernisation of its operation from an injection of modern and state-of-the-art technology to help rid the country’s cities and towns of filth and to end open defecation.”
Towards that, the minister therefore challenged the private sector to position itself and to take advantage of the opportunities that these innovations come with to help improve sanitation and make the country a clean nation on the continent.
The minister emphasised the need to invest in research to set practical solutions to the challenges Africa faces in the provision of water and sanitation.
Mr. Adda praised the African Water Association, formed in 1980, saying, “African countries must endeavour to attain the SDG goals on WASH as a matter of importance. Your scientific and technical inputs into the policies of your respective governance is a sure way to do this. It is making strides in ensuring that member countries work together to improve service delivery.
The managing director of the Ghana Water Company Limited, Dr. Clifford Braimah, added that it is truly not all gloom and that GWCL is positioned to achieving a 100% goal access to potable water in urban Ghana by 2025.
“I am happy to say that, the Government of Ghana is in sync with this goal and, together, we shall realise it. Even as we grow, we will keep our focus on doing what is right. We will be more committed to provision of potable water to customers, irrespective of their status,” the GWCL MD said.
AfWA Chairperson, Olivier Gosso, said it was important for the governments of African countries to invest in water for agriculture, industry and domestic use.
He said water scarcity could cause disease and stagnate economic growth, adding that, many people in Africa do not have access to clean water, but Ghana is doing well and urged to ensure more people have clean water.
The theme for the five-day event is, “Improving the performance of water and sanitation sector in Africa,” and participants would discuss several issues, including standardisation of sanitation technologies, the Africa-EU Alliance for Water and Climate Change project, and Smart STS Water Metering Solution, among others.
Some of the participants who spoke to The Republic said the meeting is a good forum for consultation, partnership and exhibition of agents to showcase their services.
They said, matters such as sustainable water resources management, the governance of water utilities, the promotion of information technology, the reduction of non-revenue water, together with reliable water distribution; prudent infrastructure development and adoption of best practices in operation and maintenance, must be of concern.
There were exhibitions mounted by the GWCL and other agencies and companies that are into the water and sanitation sector.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba