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02.05.2008 General News

Project launched To Monitor MDGs In Water, Sanitation

By Kwadwo B. Donkor - newtimesonline.com

THE Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing has launched the Water and Sanitation Monitoring Platform (Ghana).

It is a joint monitoring project of the UNICEF aimed at assisting the government to adequately track progress towards achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in water and sanitation.

The project is also expected to provide reliable data in these two sectors.

Speaking at the launch and the inauguration of the monitoring team, the Chief Advisor to the Director General of the National Development and Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr George Cann, said the lack of reliable data in the water and sanitation sector has greatly affected policy formulation in the sector.

According to him, the problem has arisen as a result of the lack of harmonisation in the definition of access and coverage as used by the Ghana Statistical Service, the Ghana Water Company and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency.

Notwithstanding the ambiguous definitions, he said there is a considerable regional disparity in the provision and distribution of water.

According to him, only 12 per cent of the people in the Upper West Region have access to potable water even though there has been an improvement in the coverage and access to water by the revival folks.

The programme is being sponsored by the European Union under the EU Water Fund and run for three years at a total cost of 403,000 Euros.

It is aimed at building and strengthening national capacity in data collection and monitoring.

Launching the programme, the Minister of State in charge of Water, Cecilia Dapaah, welcomed the creation of the platform, which she said, would go a long way to provide players in the sector with reliable data.

'This is an important initiative which when meticulously executed will inform government and indeed the international community on our efforts at achieving the goals and to warn government of any slippages towards meeting the target for appropriate actions to be taken in order to be on track,' she said.

She therefore entreated the team to target the right stakeholder with the right information at the right time and in the right format.

'Their products and services should always be relevant, especially as the sector’s trends and priorities change,' she said.

Ms Dapaah pledged the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing’s support to the platform team, adding, 'We are hopeful that other stakeholders in the water and sanitation industry will lend continous support to the work of the team to make its work relevant.'

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