Ghana makes progress in access to water, hygiene services
Ghana is making progress in the access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has said.
She said the population with access to basic drinking water services had shot up from 79 per cent in 2017/2018 to 87.7 per cent in 2021, while those with access to improved or basic access to household toilet facilities increased from 21 per cent in 2017/2018 to 25.3 per cent in 2021.
That, according to her, was as a result of the investment of US$ 1.397 to expand water and sanitation services for about 5,333,709 people nationwide since 2017.
Speaking at the Water Week 2023 Conference organised by the World Bank at Washington DC last Monday, she said the government was working assiduously to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on water and sanitation.
“As you all well know, the last mile is the most difficult. We have to reach the most ‘hard to reach’ population if we intend to succeed,” she said.
The Minister was sharing Ghana’s experience on progress being made to attain the SDG targets by the end of 2030 on the topic “Water, Climate, Action, Innovation.”
Noting the importance Ghana attached to issues of water and sanitation, Ms Dapaah said the country had always made strides towards the attainment of global targets and goals.
She recalled that at the end of 2015, the country achieved the then Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for water in 2010, five years before the target date of 2015.
She indicated that as part of efforts to attain the SDG targets for Sanitation and Water, her ministry was set up in 2017, and it remained resolute to work with all stakeholders to succeed.
Ms Dapaah thanked the World Bank for its support in the sector, including the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project under which the National WASH Sector Development Programme was developed.
Under the project, she said over 40,000 household toilets for low-income beneficiaries, 406 disability-friendly, menstrual hygiene management-considerate school toilets for over 251,872 school pupils had been provided.
Highlighting Ghana’s water resources, Ms Dapaah said the country was endowed with a total renewable water resource base of about 53.2 billion cubic metres per year.
Of the figure, she said, 30.3 billion cubic metres per year were generated internally, with the Volta, South-western and Coastal River systems contributing 70 per cent, 22 per cent and eight per cent, respectively.
“The current total withdrawal is approximately 13.4 per cent of the Total Actual Renewal Water Resources as of the end of 2021. The proportion of water bodies with good Ambient Water Quality increased from 51.5 per cent in 2017 to 58.2 per cent in 2021,” she said.
In view of this, Ms Dapaah said the Ministry, through the Water Resources Commission, was executing targeted strategies and programmes to ensure sustainable development and management of freshwater resources.
BY TIMES REPORTER