• Ghana has reiterated its commitment to improving its water bodies and resources
• Cecilia Dapaah said this was necessary to improve transboundary peace and development
• The Sanitation Minister said this at the ongoing 9th session of the meeting of Parties to Water Convention
Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah, has assured of Ghana’s commitment to improving its water bodies at the river basin level and enhancement of integrated water management resources.
According to her, Ghana is keen on ensuring its water bodies are well managed and developed for transboundary peace.
Delivering a statement in Switzerland at the ongoing 9th session of the meeting of Parties to Water Convention, Cecilia Dapaah said “the Government of Ghana will continue to commit to improving integrated water resources management at the river basin level through the execution of measures that target water security and enhance adaptation and resilience to climate change”
“Water has proven to be a catalyst for cooperation, fostering trust, and peace. We cannot take peace or our shared precious and fragile water resources for granted. The Water Convention is a vital instrument for managing and developing transboundary waters in peace and in trust,” the minister added.
During a panel discussion on the role of the water convention in fostering peace, Cecilia Dapaah offered insight into Ghana’s transboundary water cooperation between neighbouring countries.
She revealed that the cooperation has thus far contributed to peace and sustainable development in the sub-region hence Ghana acceded to the Water Convention.
“Ghana’s accession and implementation of the two International Water Conventions i.e., the 1992 Water Convention and the 1997 Watercourses Convention has contributed immensely to peace and stability as well as sustainable development especially in the Volta Basin – due to the fact that the country shares the transboundary Volta River Basin with five other riparian countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo,” the minister explained.
As part of contributions to Ghana accession to the Water Convention, Cecilia Dapaah said neighbouring countries and international water actors have expressed willingness to cooperate and enhance trust in terms of good governance, support the implementation of obligations, especially that of prior notification of planned measures and actions that are aimed at prevention, control and reduction of significant impacts to other riparian States.
Touching on specific reference, Cecilia Dapaah highlighted on seasonal water discharges from the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso, the planned Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam Project purposely for irrigation development, energy generation, and flood control in the northern part of Ghana and arrangements with Togo to develop the joint trans-border Sogakope-Lome Water Supply system.
To conclude, the minister said Ghana is balancing community-based practices and mechanisms in conflict resolution with international mechanisms for negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and other modes of conflict management in water resources at all levels
“We are also extending the design and implementation of national water policies and strategies to cross-sectoral inter-linkages and inter-sectoral actors to sustain programs and initiatives at the national and transboundary levels to promote transboundary cooperation and peace on the water.
The session was organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and brought together representatives of Ministries responsible for water, environment, foreign affairs and development cooperation.
It also offered a platform for reviewing and accelerating progress towards achieving SDG target 6.5.