The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Dr. Freda Prempeh has reaffirmed President Akufo Addo led administration’s unwavering commitment to see the establishment of the National Sanitation Authority (NSA) and the National Sanitation Fund (NSF) come to fruition.
According to the minister, the Cabinet Memo on NSA was laid before Cabinet for consideration but unfortunately, it was decided that the establishment of both NSA AND NSF be put on hold as a result of the Government of Ghana-IMF bailout negotiations to have some financial respite which is still ongoing.
The minister said when addressing participants at the 34th edition of the MOLE Conference series which is been held at the plush Royal Cosy Hills and Safari Resort in Jirapa in the Upper West Region.
“I am of the firm belief that the NSA will get approval from Cabinet once the current economic hurdles have been cleared,” She hinted.
The minister also announced that her ministry has tabled the revised National Water Policy to the Cabinet for their consideration. The approval of the National Water Policy, she noted will enable the introduction of wider sector reforms for the water sub-sector.
These reforms Dr. Prempeh reiterated will find space in the development of the CWSA bill that will be developed for Cabinet and Parliament.
The government recognises the private sector as a key stakeholder in its quest to provide WASH Services delivery nationwide with the sole aim of meeting the SDGs come the year 2030, and, thus will be playing a critical role as we march on to meet the SDGs targets come the year 2030.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme set for this year’s edition, which is “Building Inclusive and Resilient Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) systems to reach the unserved”, resonates well as part of our collective efforts in achieving universal access to safe water and sanitation for all by 2030.
The theme is relevant at this time where as a sector, we need to commit more through the services we deliver to the good people of Ghana, especially when we are left with only 7 years to the SDG end line, 2030. This requires more efforts towards innovative service delivery approaches, scaling up and ensuring we reach the unserved.” Dr, Prempah retorted.
According to the minister, Ghana’s performance towards the achievement of SDG 6, according to the global SDG dashboard, indicates an appreciable improvement in basic water supply with moderate improvement in sanitation.
However, she was worried that if the country moves at its current pace it may not be sufficient to lead Ghana to achieve the set goals by 2030. Saying a careful look at our country-specific data, on the Population and Housing Census presents an interesting case; the case where for instance, access to household toilets, which had reduced from 48% in 2000 to 46% in 2010, suddenly took an upward trend to 53.5 % in 2021.
“Thanks to the ambitious collaborative interventions and hard work of all of you gathered here, for which the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources wishes to thank you for a job well done. Ayekoo!” Dr Prempah added.
The minister is therefore urging sector players to focus a bit more on delivering comprehensive district-wide sanitation services to meet our set targets. Meeting these set targets will require coordinated, cost-effective, and inclusive efforts by all.
According to her, the recently launched Ghana WASH Sector Development Programme estimates a total funding requirement of US $1.9 billion to ensure WASH for all by 2030. “I wish to inform you that the process for the revision of the 2007 National Water Policy has been completed whilst the revision of the Environmental Sanitation Policy has started in earnest. I had the opportunity to launch the Hand Hygiene for All Strategy last week in Cape Coast as part of the activities to commemorate the 2023 Global Handwashing Day. Again, plans are in place for the Ministry to kick-start the Water Safety campaigns nationwide.” She said.
Story: Kwadwo BUABENG