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Budgetary allocation by government of Ghana to the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector fell from 2.0 percent in 2014 to 0.5 percent in 2017 a new study has revealed.
This it said could threaten the country’s performance in the SDG Target 6 and other health and poverty related targets.
The Budget tracking carried out by SEND Ghana a development based Civil Society Organization (CSO) with partnership from WaterAid Ghana (WAG) revealed that allocations also fell short of government’s commitment to the sector.
“In real terms, while MDA allocations declined 4.0 percent, that of WASH declined by 78.6 percent between 2014 and 2017,” the report presented here at a ceremony stated.
The study further revealed that as a share of allocations done to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) WASH allocation which constituted 4.5 percent in 2014 descended to 1.6 percent; 1.2 percent and 1.0 percent in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Ghana had increased the coverage of clean water to 84 percent in 2015 from 67 percent in 1993; however sanitation increased to 16 percent in 2013 from 4.0 percent in 1993 failing to achieve the target of halving the proportion of the population without basic sanitation, in spite of modest improvements.
The number of communities achieving open defecation free (ODF) status improved significantly to 406 in 2015, slightly above the target of 400 set for that year.
According to a report by United Nations Fund on Children (UNICEF) five million Ghanaians still used water from unsafe sources; while about 4,000 children die annually from diarrhoea in Ghana.
Under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ghana targets to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation by 2030.
The study also found out that donor funding constituted about 70 percent of all the budgetary allocation for the WASH sector with 2015 being exceptional as government financing for the sector reached 49 percent of total spending.
Overall Government of Ghana’s contribution to the total budget support declined to 14.5 percent last year, from 22.4 percent in 2014.
It cautioned that over-dependence on donor funding for the WASH sector would not help achieve the SDG targets.
“Government needs to systematically ensure increased financing for WASH at the national and district levels,” the report recommended.
It said this prioritization was critical since the performance of the WASH sector had a lot of implications for especially the targets on health, maternal and child health and poverty eradication.
The Chinese government has been supporting Ghana with its 1000 bore-hole project being carried out in six of the 10 administrative regions in he country.
Source: Justice Lee Adoboe