To mark the World Water Day, March 22, the World Vision (WV) today said the sustained access to clean water, dignified sanitation and proper hygiene practice is fundamental to socio-economic development and well-being of vulnerable children, families in rural communities.
Unfortunately, WV said one in three people lives in a country with limited access to clean water, declaring that “it is estimated that by 2030, nearly half the global population could experience water scarcity, with demand outstripping supply by about 40 percent”.
This is contained in a statement issued by Washington Mawuli Nuworkpor, World Vision Communications and Marketing Manager and copied to the Ghana News Agency GNA in Accra.
The statement said in Ghana, about 35 per cent of the population, or some 8 million children and their families, were without access to clean water.
Limited access to clean water the statement said, had negative implications for learning, nutritional outcomes, maternal and child health, productivity and the general well-being of children.
“There are also wide disparities across the ten Regions of Ghana, with many poor and deprived rural communities greatly underserved,” it said.
The statement said, while the Upper West Region had the highest coverage rate of 75.90 per cent for clean water in rural and small towns, the Western Region had the lowest rate of 53.57 per cent.
The World Vision believes in a better world for children, lives and works in communities to co-create water, sanitation and hygiene solutions that last, adding that “globally, the WV is the largest non-governmental provider of clean water in the developing world, reaching a new person with safe water every 30 second, the statement said.
The World Vision, the statement said “we are now investing $400 million to address the global water crisis and reach 7.5 million people over six years. Our vision for every child is Life in all its fullness,” it said.
It noted that between 1985 and 2010, World Vision Ghana invested over $60 million to drill over 3,000 boreholes fitted with hand pumps, rehabilitated over 100 boreholes, and constructed 40 limited mechanised water systems and harvested rain water for alternative water supply systems.
The statement added that WV had constructed over 10,000 household latrines and 19 KVIPs with hand washing facilities, such interventions aimed to improve the socio-economic lives of more than 1.3 million people in over 1,600 communities and 150 schools and clinics throughout the country.
It said from 2011 to 2016, under the ‘For Every Child’ (FEC) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme, World Vision Ghana is investing an additional $30 million to provide 800 new boreholes fitted with hand pumps, rehabilitate 250 boreholes, and construct 85 limited mechanised and other alternative water supply systems.
“We are also promoting improved sanitation through the Community-Led Total Sanitation approach and constructing 75 institutional latrines, adding “these will benefit about One million people in 1,050 communities and institutions in over 30 districts in all the 10 regions of Ghana.
The World Vision Ghana, the statement said recognises government’s effort at increasing access to clean water for domestic use and water for livelihood security.
However, regret that children and women still travel long distances in search of clean water, while many schools and health facilities lack sustained access to clean water and dignified sanitation, this, the statement said compromises quality education and health services delivery.
It said World Vision is not happy with the current levels of investment in water and sanitation, which does not match the ever increasing demand for these services, and if current trends continue, we may not be able to address the shortfall.
The statement said on this occasion of World Water Day 2014, World Vision joins practitioners in the water and sanitation sub sector, and all Ghanaians, in calling on the Government of Ghana and other development partners to prioritise water and sanitation service delivery in the country.
“World Vision urges the Government and District Assemblies, Development Partners and Non-Governmental Organisations to increase investment for delivering water and sanitation to ensure improved quality of life for all,” the statement said.