Prioritise the WASH Sector – Govt told

Accra- The Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), on Tuesday, urged the Government to priorities WASH issues to facilitate the nation’s quest to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

They said WASH issues crisscrossed all the 17 SDG goals, therefore, their neglect would impede their achievements and even retrogress the gains made so far.

Mr Attah Arhin, Vice Chairman of CONIWAS, said these when he briefed the media, in Accra, about the Communique issued at the end of the Mole XXIX conference. It was under the theme, Reforming Ghana’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector towards universal Access.

The conference is held annually to assess the status of WASH issues in the country to make recommendations for their improvement.

Mr Arhin said the participants unanimously appealed to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to support the Sanitation Ministry to accelerate the pace of institutional reforms, particularly, the establishment of the National Sanitation Authority.

They said with the establishment of the National Sanitation Fund these would strengthen inter-sectoral linkages.

The Conference, he stated, appealed to the Ministry of Sanitation, to as a matter of urgency, reactivate the Sector Working Group and other coordination structures, especially the National Technical Working Group on Sanitation (NTWGS).

The Regional inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) and the District inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (DICCS) across the country must also be reactivated.

He stated: We will support and work with Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) to implement the reform agenda towards sustainable and pro-poor rural and small towns WASH services delivery.

Mr Arhin said the conference recommended that the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources should review all relevant suitor policies and strategies by the end of 2019 towards the attainment of the WASH-related SDGs.

Regarding effective sector policies and strategies, he stated that the coalition would continue to expand the space for citizens’ engagement for sector policy development, dissemination implementation and reviews.

The CONIWAS, he said, would actively lead the process of localising the SDGs at the sub-national levels to ensure sanitation and water for all by 2030.

We call on the Government to expand the implementation of the Rural Sanitation Model and Strategy and the Community-Led Total Sanitation to all regions and districts in Ghana and resource the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies for effective implementation, he said.

Mr Arhin said the Coalition was ready to mobilise a critical mass of Civil Society Organisations to intensify advocacy for functional local level leadership to deliver WASH sector priorities, public financing for WASH, and implementation of international commitments.

CONIWAS would also monitor the implementation of WASH programmes and projects and produce shadow reports to expose gaps in the judicious use of resources, ensure quality and timely service delivery, rights and entitlements, public participation and citizen satisfaction.

Source: Ghana News Agency