The Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing (MWRWH) has re-emphasised the crucial role of Development Partners (DPs) in promoting diverse interventions in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector, pledging to continue working together with the various DPs.
In the meantime, the Ministry is celebrating the success DPs have helped the country to chalk in the WASH sector, particularly reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
The country has already exceeded the set target for Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7 that seeks to ensure environmental sustainability. The progress, according to the Ministry, is as a result of good government policies and other interventions by DPs.
These came to light at a workshop for grantees of the Hilton Foundation, which was held in Accra under the auspices of WaterAid in Ghana (WAG) in collaboration with World Vision International, UNICEF and Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA).
The three-day seminar, which ended on Thursday, was aimed at increasing participants knowledge of new and emerging sector issues that are likely to shape global dialogue and future trends as well as to consider how these broad issues are being framed on the international stage.
It brought together about fifty participants including representatives from Hilton Foundation of the United States, grantee organisations and Ghana government officials.
Meanwhile the celebration of success in the water sub-sector has been watered down by abysmal performance of the sanitation (access to clean and safe toilet facilities) sub-sector. The country is woefully lagging behind with respect to meeting the sanitation target of MDG7, which is 64%.
“For water we have exceeded the MDG target [of 78%]? But for sanitation we are lagging behind; we are around 14%,” Mr Fredrick Addae, Director of Water at the MWRWH, confirmed in an interview with Public Agenda on Tuesday on the sidelines of the workshop.
He continued: “progress is basically due to good policies of government with support from Development Partners. Good policies accounted for the successes we have achieved.”
The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon, E.T Mensah, in a statement pointed out that the challenges confronting the WASH sector in Ghana was compounded by the growing problems of developmental control in our cities including “haphazard development and increasing traffic congestion.”
He buttressed: “The challenges can be gleaned from the fact that ten years ago, the urban population in Ghana was between 40 to 42%. Today this has jumped to 51% while the available information seems to suggest that city dwellers will make up 70% of the world population in 2050.
“This is why as a government that believes in social democracy, promoting social protection schemes such as your programmes seek to achieve is very high on our development agenda.”
He assured DPs that government would continue to pursue a national development agenda that supported their commitment and effort to achieve their goal in Ghana.
“We acknowledge the support that Hilton Grantees has received in the past from Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to enable it carry its invaluable projects to our people, particularly those in the remote rural communities of our country.”
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, based in the United States of America supports several countries in Africa, including Ghana, in the area of WASH.
Source Article from http://allafrica.com/stories/201210051781.html
Ghana: Water Ministry Emphasises Support for Partners
AllAfrica News: Water and Sanitation
All Africa, All the Time.