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WASH landscape evolving, there is need to innovate – WaterAid Ghana

WaterAid Ghana, a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) focused organisation, says the landscape of the WASH sector is ever evolving, posing new opportunities and challenges for exploration and action.

It noted that for the country to achieve universal access to WASH services and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, there was the need for innovative interventions that recognised such opportunities and develop adaptive strategies to address the challenges.

‘In acknowledging the unknown, we open ourselves to exploration and innovation. It is here, in spaces of uncertainty, that we find room for ground breaking solutions and partnerships.

‘Identifying areas where our knowledge is lacking or where emerging data can influence our strategies, is vital for adaptive growth,’ said, Ms Ewurabena Yanyi-Akofur, Country Director, WaterAid Ghana.

She made these observations in a speech read on her behalf in Bolgatanga at the opening of an annual review meeting of WaterAid Ghana and its partne
rs for 2023.

WaterAid Ghana is currently implementing a five-year strategic plan (2023-2028) with the aim of achieving universal, sustainable, and safe access to WASH in Bongo, Upper East Region, to serve as a model for adoption and replication in other areas.

The strategy further aims to prioritise and strengthen WASH in the healthcare sector in Upper East and Upper West Regions to improve public health as well as help build and strengthen resilience of communities amid climate change impacts.

Ms Yanyi-Akofur explained that it was imperative for stakeholders to recognise strategies and approaches that had worked over the years and those that had failed to learn new approaches to addressing WASH challenges, to consolidate the gains made and help communities to adapt to new changes.

According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, about 96.4 per cent of urban dwellers had access to water supply and 74.4 per cent rural people had access to basic water supply, however, only 25 per cent of Ghanaians had a
ccess to improved sanitation while about 17.7 per cent still practiced open defecation.

In a speech read on her behalf, Dr Freda Prempeh, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, noted that the negative impact of WASH cut across various sectors of the economy and the government had been working to address challenges to improve the WASH sector.

To help drive the needed change in the WASH sector, she said, the Ministry had modernised most of the frameworks governing the sector including reviewing the National Sanitation Policy and National Water Policy.

‘As you are aware, in 2023, the Ministry with support from development partners developed the Ghana WASH Development Programme which seeks to align all sector programmes and priorities for attaining sector targets and SDG six by 2030.

‘It is expected that all activities of WaterAid Ghana will align with, the Ghana WASH Development Programme to ensure consistency and harmonisation of service delivery in the sector,’ she said.

She commended WaterAid Gh
ana for its contributions particularly in providing WASH services to hard-to-reach communities and healthcare facilities in vulnerable communities and pledged the support of the Ministry to creating enabling environment for development partners to work to improve the lives of Ghanaians.

Source: Ghana News Agency