Cabinet approves establishment of Sanitation Authority and Fund

The Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has hinted that Cabinet has given approval for the establishment of a National Sanitation Authority and a National Sanitation Fund.

The Vice President gave the hint at the opening of the 30th Mole Conference which is currently underway in the Volta regional capital of Ho.

The Mole Conference series is where members of the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Water and Sanitation Sector (CONIWAS) including the sector ministry, agencies and some donors gather to take stock and plan ahead for the coming year for the advocacy for proper Water, Sanitation And Hygiene (WASH).

Addressing participants at the conference, Dr. Bawumia, re-echoed the government’s commitment to work closely with relevant key sector players to address critical challenges confronting the WASH.

The Vice President could not hide his joy at the various roles the Coalition has played and continue to play in improving the sector.

“Today I can say without any shred of doubt that CONIWAS is one of the vibrant organizations working assiduously to improve the water and sanitation services delivery in the country,” he stated.

He announced that government would also continue to dialogue with the Coalition and engage its members in reviewing the national water policy and environmental sanitation policies.

According to him government is making very strenuous effort to ensure that every Ghanaian living in any party of the country have access to good sanitation and quality water in order to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Meanwhile, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, in her speech bemoaned the manner in which the forests and water bodies have been destroyed.

She explained that, the menace has depleted the water bodies; stressing that an urgent need for effective collaboration to help protect and conserve the water bodies for the future generation is more needed than before.

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources also announced to loud cheers from participants that cabinet has again given an approval for some reforms in the WASH sector to ensure especially improved rural water supply among others.

She however, charged the CONIWAS, CSOs and other NGOs which ant part of the coalition to continue to speak out against the pollution of water bodies.

On his part the Chairman for CONIWAS, Mr. Martin Dery in his welcome address said the Mole Conference series is noted that sanitation is currently an emergency issue and the role of civil society organizations is critical in solving the canker.

“Your Excellency, the Mole Conference series have come a long way and we at the coalition is happy that government is showing much commitment to various recommendations from the past conferences.

Mr. Dery revealed that the status of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate (EHSD) at the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly (MMDAs) needs to addressed to attract technical expertise into sanitation work at the local level.

He also called for a well develop agenda in partnership with key sector leaders including the Ghana Government to get the agreed policy recommendations prioritised for implementation and reporting back to sector stakeholders.

According to him, CSO watchdog and public interest role is critical in society such as ours, given the imperative for increased private sector involvement, especially in sanitation services delivery.

He also commended UNICEF for the strategic support to their Secretariat, budget tracking engagements in selected MMDAs.

This year’s conference is on the themed: “Thirty Years of Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Reflections and Prospects” is said to give sector players an edge to strengthen civil society’s role in stimulating development and implementation of actionable policies, plans, and programmes for achieving improved access to WASH.

Apart from the main theme, the four days conference will also focus on four thematic areas are as follows: Drinking-Water and Integrated Water Resources Management, Improved Sanitation and Hygiene, Government and Institutional Development and Technology, innovations and private Sector Participation.

Source: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklinadonkoh@gmail.com

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