Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said that Ghana has achieved very significant gains in the areas of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the past six years.
He said this has ensured greater access to safe drinking water and toilet facilities for millions of Ghanaians.
“These improvements in water and sanitation in Ghana that we have seen over the last six years have resulted in very significant gains. For instance, not a single case of cholera has been recorded in the past six years,” Dr. Bawumia said.
The Vice-President was speaking at the opening ceremony of the ‘All Systems Go Forum’ on Wednesday, October 19 organised by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in Accra.
He said Government has shown its commitment to addressing the water and sanitation needs of Ghanaians while meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“As the Co-Chair of the Sustainable Development Goals, His Excellency President Akufo-Addo has demonstrated adequate commitment to ensuring that Ghana meets the 2030 Agenda for the SDGs, with equal emphasis on SDG 6, within the stipulated time.
“This is reflected in the many projects being undertaken in the WASH Sector, some of which are already completed and commissioned, whilst processes are ongoing for others.”
The projects, Dr. Bawumia said include; Upper East Water Supply Project; Yendi Water Supply Project; Tamale Water Supply Project; Damongo Water Supply Project; Wenchi Water Supply Project and Sunyani Water Supply Project.
The rest are; Keta Water Supply Project; Sekondi-Takoradi Water Supply Project; and additional financing for the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA)/Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area Water and Sanitation Project.
According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census undertaken by the Ghana Statistical Service, the number of households that currently have access to toilet facilities has increased from 33% to 59.3%.
The percentage of households with access to basic drinking water has seen a significant improvement from 79% in 2018 to 87.7% in 2021.
According to Dr. Bawumia, the interventions in the water sub-sector are expected to result in additional 4.3 million beneficiaries having access to potable water.
The Vice President commended the organisers and partners for the Symposium – IRC, UNICEF and the Conrad Hilton Foundation – for the programme, stressing that its conception and organization provide ample testimony that African WASH Experts are alive to their responsibilities.
“The Symposium is occurring at a crucial time in our development when the population of Africa keeps rising, with its attendant high demand for WASH-related services, knowing that the provision of such services has not kept pace with the increasing population.
“There is, therefore, the urgent need for action to strengthen the African WASH planning and capabilities so as to strengthen the sector for effective service delivery to the growing population,” Dr. Bawumia added.
He noted that for the challenges of the WASH sector to be resolved, public policy must be incorporated with systems thinking and technical expertise as the theme of the symposium suggests.
“This is an urgent call for our Leaders and WASH Experts to deepen their collaboration to address issues in the Sector. It is also imperative, as a Continent, to tap into the unique experiences, skills and stock of knowledge of our Experts to help chart a new course for improved WASH service delivery.”