Journalists call for increased investments in Water and Sanitation

Accra, March 23, GNA – The Ghana Watsan Journalist Network (GWJN) on Monday added its voice to the call on government to increase investments in the water and sanitation sector in order to prevent needless disease outbreaks and deaths.

A statement issued by the Network and signed by Mr Isaac Kaledzi, National Coordinator, said it was needless for government to spend the already scarce resources on fighting Cholera which could be prevented.

It highlighted the need for government to ensure that budgetary allocations for the sector were disbursed judiciously and efficiently in order to bring its health, economic and other social benefits to the country.

Members of the GWJN who continued to draw attention of stakeholders to water and sanitation issues embarked on a three-day field research carried from March 19 March 21 as part of activities to mark World Water Day celebrated on March 22 every year.

The theme for this year’s World Water Day celebration is ‘Water and Sustainable Development’.

  The statement said GWJN in their field work came across massive evidence of water supply into these communities, noting that Ghana had made significant progress in the coverage of clean and safe water supply to citizens over the years.

The country has been touted to have met the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of time with an 85 percent national coverage against an MDG target of 75 percent according to the MDG Joint Monitoring Platform (JMP).

The Network, however, identified some bottlenecks which still exist in the supply of clean water to communities and households which include the issue of broken pipes which has resulted in the spilling of treated water meant for human consumption.

The field work covered four strategic areas where the recently completed water facilities around Accra were meant to serve.

They include the Shai Osudoku area, Teshie-Nungua (including Lashiebi and Spintex Road), Adenta-Madina-Frafraha area) as well as Dome-Kwabenya-East, West and North Legon areas.

The statement said that in La-Nkwantanan electoral area near Madina for instance, out of 105 secondary distribution networks only 19 are working currently, with 86 broken down.

“We therefore wish state in our preliminary findings that the massive improvement in water supply capacity and real water supply to these communities notwithstanding, distribution capacity lags far behind the capacity of supply a result of the growth in the size of these communities and the obsolete or non-existent distribution networks,” it said.

GWJN called on the government and stakeholders to take steps to address the serious lag in distribution networks which denies households easy access to the potable and safe water meant for them.

The Network also noted that there was a growing discontent among residents of some of these communities about the manner in which they were billed.

“Many alleged that as soon as they started receiving water supply in December 2014, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) started sending them bills covering the previous five (5) years that they had not received water supply,” it said.

GNA


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