From Left: Victoria Daaku, San Nasamu Sabigi, Vo- Na Mohammed Bawa, Nii Nortey Duah And Fred Addea at the conference

Stakeholders in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector have converged on Tamale, the Northern regional capital, to deliberate on how financing of the sector can be adequately improved to enhance livelihoods.

The four-day conference dubbed, ?Mole XXIII? is the 23rd edition of WASH conferences being organised by the Coalition of Non Governmental Organisations in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) since the annual multi-stakeholder platform was instituted in 1989.

Representatives from government, private operators, Civil Society Organisations, NGOs sharing information and dialoguing the financing constraints of the sector attended this year?s conference, themed, ?Financing the WASH sector: Past, Current and Vision for the future.? D

At the opening ceremony of Mole XXIII, Dr. Asamoah Baah, Financial Advisor at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said Ghana would require $2,590.27 million financial commitment to achieve a universal access to water by 2025.

Additionally, he said Ghana would need $150 million towards the provision of hygiene treatment and sewage management and it is based on the 2010 Ghana sanitation and water estimates for all compact.

He mentioned three main financing options for the WASH sector as tariffs from users of WASH services, taxes and transfers including loans and grants from development partners.

?There is not going to be any significant changes in the trend of financing for the future,? he said.

He proposed the re-engineering of the existing financial mechanism to ensure maximisation.

Vo Na Mohammed Bawa, Member of the Council of State, who chaired the function, said in spite of government?s promise to increase access to safe and affordable water and improved environmental sanitation, the sector is still saddled with lot of problems due to population explosion.

He said that to ensure sustainable predictable and adequate financing economic water tariff charges should be instituted.

Victoria Dako, Chairperson of CONIWAS, asked government to ensure that WASH activities are prominently featured in vital projects such as SADA.

Nii Nortey Dua, a Deputy Minister of Water Resources Woks and Housing, stated that tight budgetary requirement had made it difficult for the government to fully look at the sector.

He therefore urged other stakeholders including development partners to intensify their partnership with the government to make the sector viable.

Currently, Ghana is facing serious constraints in meeting the challenges of providing adequate water for all in both the rural and urban centres and the lack of funds in the sector is hampering developmental efforts.

Data at the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing indicate that approximately 62 per cent of Ghana over 26 million population have access to improved water suppliers while only 13 per cent have access to improved sanitation.

However, the average inflows over the years amount to about 35 per cent of the desired inflows needed for Ghana to achieve its MDG targets of 76 per cent water coverage by 2015 while an additional 93,000 latrines would have to be constructed every years.

From Emelia Ennin Abbey, Tamale

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