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Water and Sanitation Sector Key to National Development, Stakeholders Emphasize

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Report By: Ishmael Barfi


As Ghana prepares for elections, the flagbearers of the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress have vowed to streamline the government by merging or scrapping some ministries but stakeholders in the WASH sector are sounding the alarm, urging the government to spare the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.

According to stakeholders, The Ministry is the backbone of Ghana’s development, responsible for implementing policies that impact the daily lives of citizens. Yet, a critical gap exists in the sanitation sub-sector.

Unlike the Ministry of Health, which has agencies like Ghana Health Service and the National Health Insurance Authority, The stakeholders reiterated that the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources lacks a dedicated agency to implement sanitation policies on the ground.

To address this, stakeholders proposed the establishment of a National Sanitation Authority, which will operate independently, conduct research, ensure standards and compliance, and revolutionize the sanitation sub-sector. This authority will be a game-changer for Ghana’s development, driving growth and socio-economic progress.

Water resources are a major development focus globally, and a dedicated Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is crucial to drive change and development. The National Development Planning Commission has identified the water and sanitation sector as a key driver of national development, with far-reaching impacts on other sectors.

Moreover, water and sanitation are essential for social development, driving social change alongside education and health. Prioritizing this sector is crucial, and a dedicated ministry will give it the attention it deserves. We’ve made progress in recognizing the importance of water and sanitation, and we must build on this momentum.

Addressing journalists at a 2-day Trainer of Trainers Workshop organized by World Vision in partnership with Ghana WASH Journalists Network (GWJN) and Media Coalition on Open Defecation (M-CoDE) held at Aqua Safari Resort, Ada, World Vision Technical Coordinator, Mr. Yaw Arhin, emphasized the urgent need for a National Sanitation Authority, a proposal first made in 2017.

Since then, he revealed that stakeholders have tirelessly advocated for its establishment, submitting proposals and engaging in countless meetings.

“The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has developed a cabinet memo, and cabinet has decided to engage all stakeholders for a successful rollout”, he noted

However, Mr. Arhin stressed that it’s long overdue, and the benefits of the authority are enormous, by not establishing it, Ghana is losing out on standardization, compliance, enforcement, research, and development in the sanitation sub-sector. The private sector has shown promising results, but more needs to be done.

Mr. Arhin therefore urged the government to expedite the process, establishing the National Sanitation Authority and the National Sanitation Fund. This he believes will ensure a well-functioning sanitation sector, vital for Ghana’s development. The time for action is now.”

The 2-day Trainer of Trainer Workshop brought members of GWJN and M-code across the country to sharpen their skills to enhance their advocacy through their reportage and to support World Vision in their policy engagement and policy influencing activities to have accelerated delivery of WASH services.




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