Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) has called on government to double efforts towards achieving a universal access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Ghana.
Mrs Basilia Nanbigne, Executive Secretary of CONIWAS, said the government should localise Human Rights to WASH that had already been ratified at the United Nations (UN) level by allowing the same to reflect in the constitution and national laws.
She said the government should invest in new technologies to reach the last mile (populations in hard-to-reach areas).
“There is a need to explore new technologies for delivering clean water to last-mile communities where all options to deliver water using current standard technologies fail,” she said.
Additionally, efforts should be made to reach special communities such as slums with appropriate sanitation facilities.
She made the call in Accra at a press conference with the media, government officials, civil society groups, academia and private sector groups.
She said government should moved the national focus on sanitation and water from basic services to safety managed services.
“The national agenda should focus on “Safely managed” as opposed to “Basic” services, whilst dealing with equity and inclusion to address inequalities guiding the water supply.”
“In practical terms, this requires the government to begin a programme to bring water closer to the premises, building on existing boreholes, putting safely managed statistics at the front burner in the national discourse, and addressing the entire sanitation value chain, beyond the provision of improved household toilets,” she said.
Mrs Nanbigne said district assemblies should take responsibility for working out a sustainable mechanism for paying water bills for schools in consultation with teachers, parents and the Ghana Education Service, adding this would help bridge gaps in WASH for schools and other public places.
She advised the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to engage more with climate change experts through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to mainstream all sector policies, strategies and programmes with the WASH aspects of the Nationally Determined Contributions.
She urged the government to add these statements to their commitments at the United Nations 2023 water conference to be held between March 22 to 24, 2023 in New York.
“These would help Ghana achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for water in seven years time,” she said.
CONIWAS commits to engaging the government and following up on these calls.
CONIWAS is available to support the processes towards developing a Compact, establishing the Sanitation Authority and a Water act, and working with the government to achieve all the calls above, she added.