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The parties were of the view that prioritising WASH programmes in their respective manifestoes would improve the health and education sectors of the country’s development agenda.

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The parties include the National Democratic Congress, Convention People’s Party and the Progressive People’s Party.

The political parties made the commitment in Accra at a reflections workshop on WASH in national elections on the theme: “From Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) to Sustainable Development Goals”.

Mr James Asante, Communications Director of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the NDC party in its 2012 manifesto titled: “Advancing the better Ghana agenda”, adopted the Community Led Total Sanitation strategy, which has started in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Central Regions.

Mr Asante said in order to sustain water delivery, the party had adopted a proposal for the establishment of a ‘Water Fund’ to insulate the poor and marginalised who cannot afford to pay for water.

He said the Party had expanded the coverage level for rural and small town’s water from 57 per cent in 2008 to 63.34 per cent in 2011 and also expanded the coverage level of urban water to 63.3 per cent at the end of 2011.

He said even though the party was yet to launch its manifesto, he expressed optimism that the policies on WASH would improve on previous manifestoes to suit the current problems facing the sector.

Mr Asante said the party had solicited views from civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations on pertinent issues that needed to be factored in their manifesto prior to the impending elections.

Mr John Ben Daniels, CPP Member of Central Committee, said the party was committed to WASH programmes since it believed that an improved sanitation was critical to the development of any country.

Mr Daniel Oppong Gwebi, Youth Affairs Officer of PPP, said their outfit had put in place a well-planned policy for the sanitation and hygiene, saying they believed that prevention is better than cure.

Mrs Antoinette Shor-Anyawoe, Acting Country Director of Wateraid Ghana, said the workshop was important because it would afford the political parties to outline plans for the country’s WASH programme.

She said the country was one of the most densely populated countries in West Africa and lacked behind in the provision and access to quality water, sanitation and hygiene.

Mrs Shor-Anyawoe said more than three million people don’t have access to safe drinking water and over 85 per cent of people don’t have access to adequate sanitation, saying the three northern regions are particularly deprived, with one in ten children dying before their fifth birthday.

She said SWA is a global partnership of over 100 country governments, external support agencies, civil society organizations and other development partners working together towards a universal access to safe water and adequate sanitation.

Mrs Shor-Anyawoe said it has key pillars of enhancing political prioritisation and commitment to WASH programme, improving investments to meet priority challenges and providing transparent, accountable and results-oriented framework for action based on common values and principles.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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