Ghana as a country has attained 60 years; yet has woefully failed to prioritize the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector which is critical to survival of every life on earth.

The Paramount Chief of Tefle Traditional Area, Togbe Nakakpo Dugbaza VIII made this sentiment during this year’s 29th edition of MOLE Conference Series which was held at Sogakope in the Volta Region; under the theme: “Reforming Ghana’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector Towards Universal Access.”

According to Togbe, Ghana has been touting itself as the gateway to Africa still has open defecation as major challenge especially in the big cities.

This he said, as a country there is the need for government to increase its sustainability efforts in the WASH sector with innovative approaches towards addressing the issues for a better Ghana.

“Water is an indispensable commodity or element that sustains life, safety and security of this nation. Access to water should be considered as a fundamental right of every person irrespective of their location.

We seem to have forgotten that when hygiene conditions are maintained, many diseases would automatically be eradicated but when we litre and defecate about, filth will engulf us and we will all be stricken by diseases,” he lamented.

The Paramount Chief also, cited under-invoicing and over-pricing of services rendered in recent times and the financial malfeasance that characterized rural and town water service delivery is retarding progress in the sector.

Adding that, the declining efforts in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector with budget allocation being slashed down by government coupled with weak policies which lack foresight

Mr Emmanuel Nkrumah – Senior WASH Specialist – World Bank Ghana Office, also Highlighted on how Institutional and Policy Reforms assist Government to address the co-ordination and harmonization issues as well as the huge funding gap in the WASH sector to meet the SDG targets by 2030

“Donor funding -the World bank alone has in the past provided about assisted the sector with about US600m.What has all these policies and interventions done to improve the sector,” he quizzed.

According to him, EPA attributed the state of the sanitation Challenges of solid waste and liquid waste management to the following;

• Negative attitudes of the public towards the environment in general;
• Inadequate waste infrastructure;
• Inadequate equipment and operational funds to support waste management activities;
• Poor planning for waste management programme;
• Unplanned human settlement leading to slum formation.
• Lack of political will to enforce bye laws on sanitation and building regulations by the MMDAs.
• Lack of adequate sanitation facilities provision.
• Lack of maintenance culture.
• Lack of adequate coverage of central sewage system as well as in ability to connect to the central sewage system.
• Rapid population growth with limited information for national planning

This he said, the underlying challenge is the ability of the sector to implement the policies, and strategies and thus make effective use of the funds invested in the sector

“In my view, four factors need attention if the sector will make advancement in the future: sector Leadership, Accountability, political interference in the governance of the sector, effective advocacy by the NGOs. Any reform in the sector should seek to address these factors,” he stressed.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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