We cannot afford to lose our water resources -sector Minister

By
Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA

Ho, Nov. 11, GNA –
Mrs Cecilia Dapaah, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, has
condemn practices that was gradually putting the “lives” of many of
the country’s water resources in jeopardy.

She said practices
such as dumping of refuse in streams, rivers, filling swarms and other reserves
for housing, pollution through illegal mining and other forms of ungodly
behaviours was greatly affecting the sustainability of the over 53 billion
cubic surface water that the country had.

The Minister said,
“How can we do such evil to our present generation and the children after
us…water is life and sanitation is dignity and as a people we must be
conscious of the reality and stop harming our very source of existence”.

Mrs Dapaah said this
at the opening of the Mole XXX conference in Ho, the capital of the Volta
Region under the theme:”30 Years of WASH Dialogue: Reflections and
Prospects”.

The Mole XXX
Conference, spearheaded by the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation
(CONIWAS) and with platinum sponsors such UNICEF, World Vision, Embassy of the
Netherlands, Zoomlion lion and GAMA SWP, brought together people from academia,
water and sanitation engineers, operators in the water and sanitation sector,
environmentalists, health practitioners and some members of the Ghana WASH
Journalists Network to reflect on WASH activities in the past thirty years,
think through the present and strategize for the future of WASH in Ghana.

The conference
reviewed the current sector landscape and identified contextual issues for
reflections, stimulated dialogue on best practices and promised solutions and
developed an agenda in partnership with key sector leasers to set agreed policy
recommendations.

The sector Minister
noted that the various reforms in the sector was critical to lift the sector up
as the country worked to achieve the SDGs six, “one of the keys in the
reforms is the rural water supply”.

She therefore
entreated Ghanaians to protect and preserve water sources, adding, “We
need to be custodian of these natural asset and grooves for our own good”.

Dr Mawuena Dotse, an
expert in the WASH sector who bisected the theme, noted that the significant
contributions of the WASH Mole conference to the development of basic water,
sanitation, hygiene services as well as major policy decision; the
establishment of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), which was
purely mandated to regulate rural water and sanitation projects.

Currently, the CWSA
was undergoing some organisational reforms in terms of the management of their
facilities in the rural communities to enable the company perform better within
its mandate, he said, adding that, the change within the management process of
the CWSA.

Turning attention to
the WASH sector, he preached against the over concentration on low cost
technology and poor data management in the sector which hampered effective
planning and service delivery.

The WASH expert also
called for good financial resources into the sector for accelerated service
delivery.

The sub themes for the
Conference include: Drinking Water and Integrated Water Resources Management,
Improved Sanitation and Hygiene, Governance and Institutional Development and
Technology, Innovations and Private Sector Participation.

Togbe Kotoku, the
Chairman for the occasion, called back the spirit of volunteerism,
responsibility and communal living, to avoid some of the ills taking hold of
society, “we need to protect our communities…”.

Mr Martin Dery,
Chairman of CONIWAS, described sanitation issues as an emergency which called
for critical attention by players in the industry.

He, on the other
hand, expressed gratitude to the Ministry for reactivating the Sector Working
Group and called them to clearly define strategies and pathways for all actors
to follow.

Mr Dery said the
watchdog role of CSOs and the interest of the public was imperative in the
sanitation services delivery to raise the bar of protection for the vulnerable
in the society.

GNA

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