Mr Cosmas Kambozie, Programme Officer of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate, has said Ghana might miss the Millennium Development Goal target for sanitation because only 14% of Ghanaians have access to improved sanitation.

He said 58% share latrines and 19% do open defecation.

The country, he said, needs to ensure that 40% of Ghanaians have access to improved latrines in the next four years and at least $1.5 billion is required to achieve the target.

Mr Kambozie said out of the figure, about $375 million is needed annually to achieve the 40% improved sanitation target.

Mr Kambozie said this in Tamale on Wednesday at the opening of the 23rd National Conference of Coalitions of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS).

It was on the theme: ?Financing the WASH Sector: Past, Current and Vision for the Future?. It brought delegates from across the country to deliberate on issues affecting water and sanitation.

He said the Environmental Sanitation sub-sector of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing had developed a National Environmental Sanitation Strategy Action Plan (NESSAP) to address the issue of capacity but required capital investment.

Nii Nortey Duah, Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, expressed regret that the limited purse of the Government had made it impossible for it to meet all the requirements of the people, especially in the short-term.

He said at the last count, Ghana had achieved the MDG targets for water supply, according to the Joint Monitoring Programme update for 2012 and more positive initiatives were being developed to improve the gains.

Nii Duah said the Government, with the sector stakeholders, had prepared Water and Sanitation Strategic Development Plans that spelt out the government?s vision of universal access by 2025.

He said the government had equally reviewed the legal instruments of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency and provided an enabling environment for partners to make relevant contributions to the sector.

Mr San Nasamu Asabigi, Deputy Northern Regional Minister, said the Government, in partnership with its agencies, prioritized WASH services as very essential as captured in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda.

Madam Victoria Daaku, Chairman of the CONIWAS, urged the Government to redeem its promise of getting zero open defecation by providing places of convenience across the country.

She said CONIWAS would continue to provide suggestions to ensure that the government in partnership with NGOs, worked to provide potable water and good sanitation to the people.

Source: GNA

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