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The Coalition of Nongovernmental Organisations in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), has raised concerns about the government’s budgetary allocation to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector. They have therefore called for an increment to meet the annual investment requirements for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6.
The coalition claimed the trend of government’s budgetary allocation to the sector, practically reaffirms their position that Water and Sanitation (WASH) is not a priority of the government.
This was made known at a press conference organized by CONIWAS to outline the position of the coalition in line with the 2019 budget and offer suggestions towards budget allocations and releases.
The Vice Chairman of CONIWAS, Atta Arhin, cited the SDG 6 which ensures the Availability and Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation for all by 2030 in which government is expected to provide financial, material and technical resources as well as policies to realize the goal.
He said, the WHO-UNCEF JMP, 2017 report indicates the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) witnessed great achievement in the Water and sanitation sub-sector with about 89 percent to access rate and within the same period, it recorded an abysmal performance of 15 percent access rate due to lack of funds.
However, Atta Arhin recalled the total cost for projects such as the Water and Sanitation Services Development Project (WSSDP) which is from the year, 2012 to 2025 was GHC 978.06 million for both new WASH facilities and capital maintenance of existing infrastructure.
“The annual funding requirements for the infrastructure as at 2012 was GHC 81,500,000, in the SESIP but the government committed to provide US$ 50 million seed money to sanitation and hygiene sector and promised to set up a revolving fund, which never materialized,” he added.
According to SWA- HLM report, Ghana requires about US$ 386 million annually to achieve the SDG 6 in 2030, however, in the 2019 budget allocation, the government allocated only GHC 246 million (US$ 50 million) representing 13 percent of the estimate required, making the allocation woefully inadequate.
He indicated, Ghana would not be able to achieve the SDG 6, if the current trend of budgetary allocation continues.
He, therefore, tasked government to provide political leadership and policy direction in terms of progress reporting on WASH at the African Ministerial Council on Water and Sanitation (AMCOW), Sanitation and Water for All High-Level meetings (SWA-HLM) and Africa Sanitation conferences (AFRICASAN).
He said the position of CONIWAS in the budgetary allocation for WASH is for the government to reconsider the quantum of future allocations to the sector and ensure the budgets are in relation to the SDG WASH financing requirements to reflect on the current challenges.
“We, therefore, appeal to government to ensure an upward review of the budget allocated to WASH as well as policies, strategies, and plans of the sector.”
Source: Nii Aflah Sackey