General News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda has said the management of solid waste remains a huge challenge for Ghana.
According to the Minister, research has shown that, for every dollar invested in water and sanitation services, there is a return of $4.3 whereas overall investment in water and sanitation services result in overall gain of 1.5 percent of global GDP.
This is due to reduced health care costs for individuals and society, and greater productivity and involvement in the workplace through better access to facilities.
He said, with these health outcomes of improved access to WASH in mind Ghana achieved her MDGs target of 86 percent on water.
However, access to basic sanitation he stated lagged behind with coverage of 15 percent as against an MDG target of 54 percent. He said, ‘’in the face of population growth, these disparities need to be addressed if Ghana is to achieve her sector target of sanitation and water for all by 2025 and SDG-6 by 2030.’’
He opined, the realization of this requires concerted effort by all stakeholders.
He was delivering the key note address at the opening ceremony at the 77th Scientific and Technical Council and Exhibition organized by the African Water Association in Collaboration with then Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).
He described the meeting as an important one since it will provide the platform to proffer solutions to the challenges facing the WASH sector in Africa.
Ghana’s new Ministry he said has taken steps with the support of its Development Partners in addressing the challenges confronting the implementation of WASH.
‘’Government realizes that WASH provision is a shared responsibility and has therefore created the enabling environment for private sector participation and partnerships to achieve the national goals and subsequently the SDGs.
Some of the initiatives by the Ministry he said include the development of guidelines for managing drinking water quality in a manner that will ensure maximum protection of public’s health through the implementation of water safety plans.
‘’The Ministry has also led the development functionality and service level indicators in ensuring the sustainability of the water and sanitation services.’’
Government, he added is committed in fulfilling on all its pledges hence demonstrated the commitment by committing Chief Executives to sign performance contracts which will go a long way to ensure effective delivery of work.
‘’Additionally, the procurement system within the sector which has been fraught with challenges in the past will be revamped and improved upon to ensure value for money and transparency in all public transactions to protect the public purse.’’
The sanitation sub-sector he said will employ state of the art technology to help rid our cities and towns of filth and open defecation.
He threw a challenge to the private sector to position itself to take advantage of the opportunities that these innovations come with.