The maiden Annual Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Week has been officially launched at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel, Accra.
The theme for the week-long celebrations is: “Pursuing Political Prioritization and Behaviour Change for Sustainable WASH Services”
Ghana’s inadequate access to safe drinking water and the poor sanitation situation is said to be a function of Weak prioritization, lack of commitment on the part of decision-makers, and poor attitude of citizens.
The rest are Limited financing, weak institutional arrangements, Non-enforcement of the building code and sanitation bye-laws, poor implementation of policies and strategies inconsistencies in policy implementation.
Addressing the gathering at the launch, the Chairman of the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), Mr. Yaw Attah Arhin said the only way out for Ghana to overcome its WASH challenges is for decision-makers to increase prioritization, do some institutional re-alignment, increased resources and come up with innovative financing arrangements, policy implementation, enforcement of bye-laws and equity and inclusion in other to leave no one behind.
He explained that the rationale behind the Annual WASH Week initiative is to trigger a national consciousness about the need for improved WASH, particularly sanitation and the importance of living in a clean, healthy environment.
The initiative Mr. Attah Arhin maintained is also expected to result in greater prioritization and action towards unlocking the country’s sanitation conundrum.
“We at CONIWAS will like to use the Annual WASH Week to foster greater understanding of the country’s sanitation situation; stimulate increased political attention to environmental sanitation, promote personal responsibility towards the realization of improved sanitation, and bring greater visibility to Ghana’s improved sanitation and water agenda as well as forge strategic partnerships to co-create sustainable sanitation solutions that last” the Chairman of CONIWAS announced.
He was of a high hope that Annual WASH Week will result in a sanitation-conscious population ready to contribute towards a cleaner and a healthier Ghana; Increased financing for sanitation and related activities; Lasting solutions found for Ghana’s poor sanitation situation; and also environmental sanitation becomes a top priority of the government, development partners and all citizens.
The proposed activities to mark the Annual WASH Week are National Sanitation Walk towards the “Clean Ghana Agenda“, Policy dialogue – A National Conversation on WASH in Ghana, Public lecture, and media engagement.
Others are: Community Sensitization and Town Hall Meetings, Evidence and innovations fair, and National Sanitation Super Cup
The Chairman of CONIWAS explained further that the National Sanitation Super Cup will see top clubs will be playing for honours in a high-level football match to use sports to promote greater prioritization of sanitation and to generate a national consciousness towards the fight against poor environmental sanitation in Ghana.