General News of Sunday, 6 August 2017
In order for Ghana to achieve the ambitious target of universal access to water and sanitation by 2025, there is the need to cut down on donor funding for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector.
It is estimated that the country needs to invest about 387 million dollars annually to the WASH sector before it could dream of achieving the target, but the sector is currently dependent on 90 per cent donor funding.
Mr Abdul-Nashiru Mohammed, Country Director, WaterAid Ghana, said this during the University for Development Studies/Community Water and Sanitation Agency (UDS/CWSA) first WASH Conference held in the Narongo campus of UDS in the Upper East Region.
He expressed the need for the country to “match ambition with action”, through domestic resource mobilisation to finance the sector and cut down on donor support.
He said only a conscious effort to mobilise resources domestically to finance the WASH sector would lead to the functionality of relevant agencies that would ensure that all decentralised structures under the sector work for the good of the people.
The WaterAid Country Director said this could not happen if government continued to lose significant revenue through leakages and granting of huge tax concessions and incentives.
Mr Mohammed said the academia had always been a silent partner with a strong niche in research, but this round time the partnership was to see how its work could be taken to another level in terms of practice.
Dr Isaac Sackey, Dean-In-Charge, UDS Navrongo campus, said the conference enabled the academia to appreciate what practitioners wanted from them in terms of research.
He said understanding of each other’s role would help move the WASH sector forward.
Dr Sackey who is also the Dean-In-Charge of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the Navrongo campus, expressed the hope that such collaboration would translate into tangible solutions to addressing water challenges facing rural communities.
The three-day conference organised on the theme: “WASH: The Successes, Challenges and the Way Forward with Academia” brought together players from the academia, civil society, governmental agencies, the private sector and the media among others to share ideas on how to improve the WASH sector in the country.
It was sponsored by WaterAid Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Catholic Relieve Services and World Vision International.