Report by: Ishmael Barfi
The Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) has called government to put in measures that would ensure that, the numerous groundwater in deprived communities are protected to serve these communities as a source of portable water since it is a basic human rights needs of every Ghanaian.
Even though ground water may be hidden, it is a treasure in water provision and should be preserved and protected.
In the increasing climate variability and its effects on most of the water resources and wetlands, CONIWAS noted that, groundwater becomes one of the most dependent upon resources and as such, there is a need to protect it.
This was contained in press release issued by CONIWAS as the world observed World Water Day on Tuesday, 22nd March, 2022 at Dodowa, a community in Ghana.
Commemoration of World Water Day (WWD) every 22nd March, was instituted by a UN conference in 1992 at Rio de Janeiro, to call on the world, to recognize the importance of water for our lives.
Every year, the World Water Day is observed to educate about the importance of water to the whole world, raise awareness about the water crisis and to call everyone to take some concrete action in terms of preservation and conservation of water resources.
Every year there is a theme associated with World Water Day and this theme puts light on various issues related to the cause.
This year theme for World Water Day 2022 is ‘Groundwater, making the invisible visible’ was to highlights the importance of groundwater in water provision.
The Press Release acknowledged that, in Ghana, most communities depend on groundwater for their access to water services (through boreholes and wells), hence practice of self-supply is equally on the increase.
“Many peri-urban areas and new settlements without piped connections resort to the construction of boreholes as a source of water”, it added.
However, CONIWAS pointed out that, drilling of these boreholes most of the time are not being done in accordance with the right guidelines.
For the realization and attainment of providing portable water for communities and cities across the country, CONIWAS in its press release asked for adequate support and increased investment for Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) to effectively carry out their work and to engage the public more on how to safeguard our water resources.
Secondly, called for adequate government support and increased financing to enable the provider meet the ever increasing demand for safe drinking water in rural and small towns.
Meanwhile, the Coalition commended the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) for the ongoing reforms in the rural water sub-sector aimed at improving Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and ensuring the sustainability of water systems.
It further also commended the Water Resources Commission for their leadership in the commemoration of the global day and for all the training they organized for stakeholders to understand the state of ground water.
Therefore the Coalition appealed to government to provide adequate support and increased investment to enable the Commission to effectively carry out their work and to engage the public more on how to safeguard our water resources.
“ calls for adequate government support and increased financing to enable the provider meet the ever increasing demand for safe drinking water in rural and small towns”, it added.
Praising Ghana Water Company Limited, (GWCL) for it’s initiative and good efforts towards reducing Non-Revenue Water which has been an age-old challenge for the utility, CONIWAS urged government and development partners to adequately support GWCL with increased investment in order to improve urban water delivery, paying attention to low income communities and vulnerable populations.
“This will reduce the perennial water shortages”, the release stressed.
The Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation further called on government to provide the needed logistics and budgetary support for the institutional strengthening of the Water Resources Commission and relevant institutions to improve co-ordination and the effective management of the country’s integrated water resources.
And should particularly take all necessary steps to check illegal mining (galamsey) activities which pollute water bodies and pose a serious threat to sustainable safe drinking water supply.
In addition, “CONIWAS notes with satisfaction the contribution of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA SWP) to safe water delivery”, the releases said.
Adding “We are delighted with the project’s recent entry into the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA)”.
Such projects the Coalition noted can contribute immensely to safe drinking water supply in Ghana if they are replicated in other jurisdictions.
CONIWAS therefore encouraged government, through the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, to work with development partners to ensure replication of the project in all other regions of the country.
The Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) is a civil society organization established in 2003 and works in partnership with relevant stakeholders to influence policies, remove barriers and promote access to sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in Ghana.