Attaining SDGs on WASH requires collective efforts – Panelists

By
Patience Gbeze, GNA

Accra, Dec. 11, GNA
– Panelists at the second National Learning Exchange on Strengthening Local
Governance Government Systems to deliver safe and sustainable WASH services
were optimistic that attaining the goals of the SDGs in the sector is
achievable with investment, especially in the sanitation sector.

They said the water
sector is improving and it is possible to attain 100 per cent coverage of safe
drinking water delivery by 2030 in the target areas.

The workshop was
organized by IRC, WaterAid, Water4 and the Hunger Project in collaboration with
focal District Assemblies. The implementing District Assemblies present are
Asutifi North, Bongo and Wassa East. 

The workshop
focusses on learning exchanges on district-wide initiatives on building and
strengthening strong local systems to deliver safe sustainable water,
sanitation and hygiene services for everyone.

Mrs Vida Duti, IRC
Ghana Country Director, said it also sought to reflect on current country
updates and advance understanding of the various district-wide initiatives; and
how local governments and partners are fulfilling their roles and
responsibilities in supporting the provision of WASH services in different
contexts.

“The workshop will
also help exchange experiences and lessons with like-minded district based
initiatives; generate clear and strong recommendations for strengthening local
systems for improved service delivery towards achieving the WASH Sustainable
Development Goals,” she said. 

“The three-fold
sessions will highlight Ghana WASH SDG progress updates, showcase perspective
and implementation status of the district-wide initiatives to feed into
interactive panel discussion,” she said

Mr Wilson Arthur,
Wassa District Chief Executive, said it has become clear that public service is
no longer the preserve of government and called for partnership with the
private sector, adding that “in this case the burden will be on government to
build capacity and develop skills of public officer to be able to monitor the
system”.

Mrs Akua Aniniwa
Owusu Asamoah, Deputy Head, Fiscal Decentralisation Unit of the Ministry of
Finance, said many district assemblies are doing things that are not reflected
on the National Plan and urged them to feed the National Development Planning
Commission with all that they do.

She said there is
also the need for district assemblies to start budgeting for their Internally
Generated Funds to support the projects and their sustainability even after the
projects fold up.

Mr Peter Ayamga
Ayimbisa, the Bong District Chief Executive, said the District has achieved 85
per cent coverage in water from the previous 45 per cent and expressed the hope
that they would be able to achieve 100 per cent coverage by 2030.

“Even before 30230,
we are on the verge to achieve the target in the area. Now we have available
water and toilet facilities and almost every school in the district has water
and toilet facilities,” he said, and commended WaterAid for the support that
led to the success story.

He said as a result,
more women are now delivering at the health centre due to availability of
water.

Mr Ayimbisi said the
only challenge facing the district was that there are lots of fluoride in the
groundwater and urged partners to come together to assist them solve the
problem.  

Mr Peter Ata-era,
Asutifi District Planning Officer, said they have so far trained 11 communities
to construct their own toilet facilities. Out of the number, five communities
made up of 108 households constructed their own toilet facilities.

He said there is the
need to look for the opportunities in the sector and work together to achieve
the goals.

GNA

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