UN pledges support for Ghana to achieve SDG Six

United Nations (UN) agencies in Ghana have pledged to deepen their collaboration with the country to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6-on water and sanitation.

The renewed support is in line with the UN’s declaration of the remaining 10 years of the Agenda 2030 as “Action decade”, following an observation that if efforts were not doubled, the SDGs would not be achieved.

Representative of the agencies led by the acting UN Resident Coordinator, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, made the pledge during a courtesy call on the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Dapaah in Accra on Tuesday.

The visit was to afford the agencies an opportunity to interact with the ministry and identify specific areas that require deeper collaboration in the bid to achieve the SDG -6.

The agencies include the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The others are Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Development Programme and the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHSP).

According to Ms Lopez-Ekra, who is also the Chief of Mission of IOM, similar visits were being paid to other Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to seek closer ties on the attainment of the other 16 SDGs.

She said the UN declared the remaining 10 years of the SDGS as “Decade of Action” because “looking at the state of affairs if we continue at this rate, we cannot achieve the 17 goals as planned”.

The ministry, she said, was central to all the 17 goals hence the need for all the UN agencies and Ghana to join forces to find sustainable solutions, saying “Leaving no one behind is a key priority. We will work to bridge the gaps.”

Ms Anne-Claire Dufay, UNICEF Country Representative commended Ghana for the appreciable improvement in access to potable water and assured of the agency’s support to progress especially in the reduction of open defeaction.

The sector Minister, Ms Dapaah, who received the delegation with her two deputies and other officials, welcomed the support indicating that it would help the socio-economic development of the country.

She said the ministry as part of efforts to achieve the goal six had, amongst many projects, provided more than 100,000 household toilet facilities in partnership with UNICEF and other organisations.

She said steps had been taken to enhance waste management, treatment and recycling as well as access to potable water and sanitation while in the future re-engineer landfill sites.

Ms Dappah said the ministry was also reviewing the National Water Policy and making progress with the establishment of the National Sanitation Authority that would play a critical role in waste management in the country.

 She said the government was determined to achieve the goal-6 and called for concerted efforts especially with the fight against illegal mining which was destroying water bodies.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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