However, he raised concerns regarding the type of water consumed by the general public, emphasizing the significance of SDG Goal Six, which centers on clean water and sanitation. Prof. Mike Osei-Atweneboana says this goal acts as a linchpin, connecting the other fifteen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG-6 fundamentally aims to secure clean water and adequate sanitation for all, recognizing the inherent right to a healthy life. This is closely tied to equitable access to water resources, stressing the necessity for universal access to safe and affordable drinking water.
In an interview with Citi News at an event organized by The Water Research Institute of CSIR to conclude this year’s Open Day Celebration, Prof. Mike Osei-Atweneboana advocated for governmental action to safeguard water quality, underscoring the importance of enacting and enforcing legislation to prevent contamination, promote responsible water usage, and encourage investment in sustainable water management systems. This includes enhancing sanitation facilities to ensure universal access to clean water for all.
Prof. Mike Osei-Atweneboana also noted that, “while there are numerous policies and regulations in our country to maintain clean and good water, our biggest challenge lies in the enforcement of these regulations. We need to have the political will to enforce it, with the right attitude as Ghanaians.”
Highlighting that a critical facet of public health revolves around the quality of available water, which is often taken for granted, he emphasized that water quality significantly impacts both immediate and long-term outcomes, influencing nutrient absorption, organ functions, and overall physiological balance. He urges relevant state institutions to enhance water governance and enforce regulations to ensure the delivery of clean and safe water to the public.
Prof. Mike Osei-Atweneboana further added that, “If we continue to destroy our water bodies just to extract mineral resources, there may come a time when we won’t have the water we need. The challenge extends beyond surface water; pollution also affects groundwater. When we rely on groundwater, we incur the cost of treatment. What our country needs is to enforce the various policies that have been enacted to safeguard these water systems.”