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Experts have urged authorities in Ghana to strengthen investments into the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by the due date in 2030.
Harold Esseku a WASH consultant to the World Bank who presented the data on Ghana’s drinking water profile ahead of this year’s World Water Day commemoration noted that more effort needed to be made to improve access to quality water for all.
The latest data the sector works with puts Ghana’s overall access to quality water at 79 percent. Of this urban centers have 93 percent while rural areas have 68 percent.
However in terms of water quality determined on the scale of ‘Only moderate to very high risk of microbial contamination’, the national average stood at 48 percent at the source but 76 percent at household levels.
This was however more pronounced in rural areas at 55 percent at the source and 88 percent at household levels. For urban centers, the risk of contamination stood at 39 percent at the source and 63 percent at the household level.
Water contamination according to Adwoa Painstil Director of the Environmental Quality Department of the Water Resources Commission (WRC) was one of the major factors needing attention towards achieving the SDGs.
She named improper disposal of liquid and solid waste as some of the major causes of this contamination, besides illegal mining and unhealthy agriculture practices.
“When it rains, the running water carries all waste substances into the water bodies. This includes fertilizers, pesticides, and other agrochemicals,” she noted.
Painstil, however, added that some of the contamination was the result of households; using unclean water collectors and storage tanks.
The theme for the 2019 commemoration later this month is “Leaving No One Behind” with Ghana facing a real challenge of investing heavily in all sectors to achieve the SDGs as President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is co-chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s Eminent Persons group on the SDGs.
Source: Justice Lee Adoboe