Approximately 815 villages in the Upper West Region have obtained Open Defecation Free (ODF) accreditation, according to Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, the Regional Minister for the Upper West.
He continued by saying that 24 additional towns that had been diagnosed with OD now had the opportunity to join the ODF.
Dr. Salih said this at the opening session of the 34th Mole Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) conference, which is currently being held in Jirapa, the area.
With support from its partners, CONIWAS is organizing a four-day MOLEXXXIV conference with the topic "building inclusive and resilient Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) systems to reach the unserved".
There will be about 170 attendees, comprising legislators, government officials, practitioners, MPs, and members of the Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs).
World Vision Ghana and the GAMA Sanitation and Water Project are also providing financial support for members of the Media Coalition against Open Defecation (M-CODe) to attend the conference.
In part, Dr. Salih attributed the successes to stakeholders' continuous support, expressing the hope that the Coalition will continue to assist and aid in improving the region's sanitation issue.
Regarding water supply, the regional minister reported that many of the communities still faced difficulties in obtaining clean drinking water, despite the fact that 76% of the territory was covered by water.
Dr. Salih described potable drinking water as a basic human need and said that in order to provide water and WASH delivery services in the area, more support was required from stakeholders and other delivery partners.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Dr. Freda Prempeh, opened the conference by highlighting the government's commitment to creating the National Water Policy.
"A memo was laid before the cabinet for consideration, but unfortunately it was decided that the establishment be put on hold as a result of the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) negotiations, and we will get cabinet approval once the current economic hurdles have been cleared" , she stated.
Adoption of the National Water Policy, in Dr. Prempeh's opinion, would allow for the water subsector to undergo more significant sector reforms.
These changes will be covered by the CWSA bill that is being drafted for the Cabinet and Parliament.
The Ahafo Region's Tano North Constituency member of parliament (MP), Dr. Prempeh, spearheaded the private sector as a major role in the delivery of WASH services.
"They will play a critical role as we march on to provide WASH services nationwide with our sole aim of meeting the SDGs come the year 2030," Dr. Prempeh stated.
-CDA Consult || Contributor