Political parties affirm commitment to improving WASH policies

By Kodjo
Adams, GNA

Accra, Aug. 21, GNA – Three political parties
have affirmed their commitment to prioritising water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
policies in their manifestoes to improve the lives and health of the citizenry.

The parties were of the view that prioritising
WASH programmes in their respective manifestoes would improve the health and
education sectors of the country’s development agenda.

The parties include the National Democratic
Congress, Convention People’s Party and the Progressive People’s Party.

The political parties made the commitment in
Accra at a reflections workshop on WASH in national elections on the theme:
“From Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) to Sustainable Development Goals”.

Mr James Asante, Communications Director of
the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the NDC party in its 2012
manifesto titled: “Advancing the better Ghana agenda”, adopted the Community
Led Total Sanitation strategy, which has started in the Northern, Upper East,
Upper West and Central Regions.

Mr Asante said in order to sustain water
delivery, the party had adopted a proposal for the establishment of a ‘Water
Fund’ to insulate the poor and marginalised who cannot afford to pay for water.

He said the Party had expanded the coverage
level for rural and small town’s water from 57 per cent in 2008 to 63.34 per
cent in 2011 and also expanded the coverage level of urban water to 63.3 per
cent at the end of 2011.

He said even though the party was yet to
launch its manifesto, he expressed optimism that the policies on WASH would
improve on previous manifestoes to suit the current problems facing the sector.

Mr Asante said the party had solicited views
from civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations on
pertinent issues that needed to be factored in their manifesto prior to the
impending elections.

Mr John Ben Daniels, CPP Member of Central
Committee, said the party was committed to WASH programmes since it believed
that an improved sanitation was critical to the development of any country.

Mr Daniel Oppong Gwebi, Youth Affairs Officer
of PPP, said their outfit had put in place a well-planned policy for the
sanitation and hygiene, saying they believed that prevention is better than
cure.

Mrs Antoinette Shor-Anyawoe, Acting Country
Director of Wateraid Ghana, said the workshop was important because it would
afford the political parties to outline plans for the country’s WASH programme.

She said the country was one of the most
densely populated countries in West Africa and lacked behind in the provision
and access to quality water, sanitation and hygiene.

Mrs Shor-Anyawoe said more than three million
people don’t have access to safe drinking water and over 85 per cent of people
don’t have access to adequate sanitation, saying the three northern regions are
particularly deprived, with one in ten children dying before their fifth
birthday.

She said SWA is a global partnership of over
100 country governments, external support agencies, civil society organizations
and other development partners working together towards a universal access to
safe water and adequate sanitation.

Mrs Shor-Anyawoe said it has key pillars of
enhancing political prioritisation and commitment to WASH programme, improving
investments to meet priority challenges and providing transparent, accountable
and results-oriented framework for action based on common values and
principles.

GNA

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