Government of Ghana has set out its policy and action plan to prioritize safe water and sanitation management, Director for Water at the newly created Ministry of Sanitation and Water, Donnan Tay, said here on Wednesday.

Addressing the country’s World Water Day national commemoration, Tay said such an action would bring benefits to communities and the general public.

“The government, through its manifesto, seeks to give real meaning to these policy directions through the following practical actions: Employ science and technology to identify the most economic and efficient ways to recycle urban waste; support the establishment of recycling and reprocessing companies to manage waste,” the director disclosed.

He added that this action would extend the industrial value chain and create the new raw material base for existing and new industries.

Tay noted that the theme for this year’s celebration — Water and Waste Water — was a call on all to prioritize not just provision of safe water but also a walk towards addressing a broad range of issues related to water management.

He said the theme recognized the importance of good waste water management and its contribution to having the proposition of having untreated waste water and having bodies of water to provide good ambiance of water quality.

“Ghana is not exempt from this global agenda; it fits into our development agenda on addressing the unfairness to the significant population living in slums and the impoverished rural and peri-urban areas that survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation services and food security,” Tay added.

David Duncan, Head of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at UNICEF Ghana, read the UN Secretary General’s message to Ghana, noting that developing countries including Ghana had much of their waste water untreated.

“In Ghana, three out of every five people drink water contaminated with feces, risking diseases including diarrhea and cholera. Diarrhea causes the death of over 3,600 children in Ghana every year and cholera outbreaks occur too frequently in our cities,” the message observed.

He urged that, in addition to treating water before drinking, there was also the need to treat waste water before disposing of it since, in spite of all the recent achievements in water, a majority of Ghana’s household waste water was still discharged untreated, thereby polluting rivers, ground water and coastal waters.

Meanwhile, in a separate press release, the Ghana Country Representative of UNICEF, Susan Namondo Ngongi, on Wednesday urged Ghanaians to learn how to dispose of both domestic and industrial waste water.

“We must realize that this is putting the lives of Ghana’s children at risk. Let’s keep working together to ensure that every child has access to safe water,” she said.

According to UNICEF, paying closer attention to the way Ghanaians treat and dispose of waste water in their homes, farms and industries, can move the country a step further in reaching all the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal on Water. Enditem

Source: Justice Lee Adoboe & Alex Osei-Boateng, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh