The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah is in Washington DC participating in the ongoing 2023 Water Week, organised by the World Bank and to share Ghana’s experience on progress being made to attain the SDG targets by the end of 2030.
In her remarks, Hon. Dapaah thanked the Bank for the opportunity to be part of the platform and to share experiences from Ghana, whilst relaying greetings from H.E the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the audience.
She further pointed out that, Ghana has always made strides towards the attainment of global targets and goals, adding “at the end of 2015, Ghana achieved the then Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for water in 2010, five years before the target date of 2015, unfortunately same feat could not be achieved for Sanitation”.
She indicated that realizing the huge challenge of attaining targets for Sanitation and also to consolidate the gains made for Water, H.E the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is also a co-chair for the SDG Advocates Emeritus, set up a specific Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources when he assumed office in 2017.
“The Ministry’s mandate is to enhance the development and management of Water Resources and the delivery of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services to the good people of Ghana and also coordinate activities of the water and environmental sanitation sectors to ensure efficiency and productive use of resources. The Ministry with strong support from the H. E the President and in collaboration with various partners remains resolute to ensure the attainment of the vision of leaving no one behind in the provision of safe water and enhanced sanitation services “she said.
Ms. Dapaah mentioned that since 2017 an amount of US$ 1.397 Billion have been invested to expand water and sanitation services benefitting about 5,333,709 people, noting “this huge investment has increased the population with access to basic drinking water services from 79% in 2017/2018 to 87.7% in 2021, whiles population with access to improved or basic access to household toilet facilities increased from 21% in 2017/2018 to 25.3% in 2021. We are working assiduously towards the attainment of the SDG target of getting water to all our households”.
She however took the opportunity to thank the World Bank for the numerous supports offered Ghana. The Bank through the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project supported the development of a National WASH Sector Development Programme to guide the work of all WASH actors. The same project is supporting to review the Environmental Sanitation Policy.
Under the same project, over 40,000 household toilets have been provided to low-income beneficiaries and completed 406 disability-friendly, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)-considerate school toilets with separate blocks for girls and boys with locks for each cubicle to ensure privacy, water and soap for hand washing, and a sanitary disposal system to benefit over 251,872 school pupils. Additional, 42,000 household toilets and 150 disability friendly and gender conscious institutional sanitation facilities are being constructed.
Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah informed participants that with support from UNICEF, the Water Policy has been reviewed. She added “I was the Minister responsible for Water Resources under Ministry of Works and Housing in 2007 when we launched our first Water Policy, and we deemed it was time for review after 15 years of its implementation”.
Ghana is endowed with a total renewable water resource base of about 53.2 billion m3/year, of which 30.3 billion m3/year are generated internally, with the Volta, South- Western and Coastal River systems contributing 70%, 22% and 8%, respectively. The current total withdrawal is approximately 13.4 percent of the Total Actual Renewal Water Resources as at the end of 2021. The proportion of water bodies with good Ambient Water Quality increased from 51.5 percent in 2017 to 58.2 percent in 2021.
In view of the foregoing, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) through the Water Resources Commission is executing targeted strategies and programmes that are critical to ensuring the regulation as well as the sustainable development and management of the country’s freshwater resources.
The 2023 Water Week is on the theme ‘Water, Climate, Action, and Innovation’.