Stakeholders in Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) have been urged to galvanize themselves and provide more compelling evidence to government in order shape its policies towards achieving the SDG targets.

Sdg TargetsThe call was made by participants at the just-ended United Nations University-Institute of Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) Stakeholders’ Engagement workshop on the 61st National Level Learning Alliance Platform (NLLAP) held in Accra.
They also asked the WASH sector stakeholders to collaborate with each other frequently to share lessons and best practices in order to scale up these best practices in the country.

“The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) should involve all stakeholders especially WASH sector actors in the process of aligning the SDGs with Ghana’s Long Term Development Plan”, they recommended.

Earlier, in a presentation, Dr. Felix Addo-Yobo, a Deputy Director of Environmental Policy at the NDPC, said the NDPC provided the context in relation to planning for the implementation of the SDGs in Ghana.

He indicated that the introductory section of the SDG Agenda 2030 entreats countries to implement the SDGs taking into consideration, their specific context, their level of development, resources, aspirations and capabilities.

Dr Addo-Yobo emphasised: “Inasmuch as a global framework, it needs to be localized and Ghana is taking that seriously.”
According to him, the NDPC was the lead agency fronting SDG PSS project in Ghana and how to make sure that the SDGs were fused into the country’s local plans.

The NDPC, Dr Addo-Yobo said had adopted the approach to aligning issues in the SDGs framework that were consistent with Ghana’s development plans and aspiration.

Aside, the NDPC was also identifying the inconsistencies/gaps and putting the needed strategies to address them.

The SDG alignment process, he explained had been done in respect of Ghana’s Medium Term Framework- Ghana Shared Development Agenda two (GSDA-2).

“About 70% of the SDG targets are reflected in the GSDA which demonstrated that most of the things Ghana is doing are consistent with the SDG and that is a good starting point to build on and ensure the achievement of the SDGs”.

Additionally, the NDPC is adapting some of the SDG targets and indicators to its development planning.

He said some of the SDG indicators were being worked on to ensure that they reflect on Ghana’s national aspiration and once they are done with them, these indicators would be drafted into the medium term framework.

The SDG Dr Addo-Yobo noted that the NDPC was also being implemented within the context of Ghana’s 40-Year Development Plan and that the first part of the long term plan would be heavily influenced by the SDGs.

Giving highlights on Ghana’s Drinking Water Quality Management Framework, Madam Suzzy Abaidoo of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources said the framework was to address the high water and sanitation related disease burden, including cholera outbreaks which constitute 70% of OPD cases in Ghana (OECD, 2007).

The framework was also to strengthen coordination among institutions responsible for drinking water quality management and prepare Ghana towards the post-MDG agenda, which had strong focus on safe water access, she said.

Madam Abaidoo explained that Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources was supported in 2012 by UNICEF to carry out a rapid assessment of the Water Quality Status and its management in Ghana.

The purpose of the assessment was among other things to identify the challenges and gaps in the existing drinking water quality management; Make recommendations to address the identified challenges and gaps; and formulate a National Drinking Water Quality Management Framework for the country.

The following findings were made after the assessment was conducted on the Water Quality Status and its management in Ghana:
The study revealed that a number of drinking water quality parameters did not conform with standards which was a threat to public health; institutions carried out their mandates without formalized coordination; water quality of self-supplies, vendors and tanker water suppliers were not effectively and consistently monitored; among others.