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Ghana to articulate water, sanitation challenges at high level meeting

By GNA
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Ghana to articulate water, sanitation challenges at high level meeting

February 10, 2010
Accra, Feb. 10, GNA - Ghana would need a total amount of GH¢23.5 billion to be able to achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets in water and sanitation, an official of WaterAid Ghana, said on Wednesday.

Mr Ibrahim Musah, Policy Manager, WaterAid Ghana, briefing the media in Accra on the First Annual High Level Meeting (HLM) to be held in Washington on April 23 this year, said it was unfortunate that the water and sanitation sector had been neglected by governments over the years.

He said the sector needed massive resources to effectively deliver its mandate, particularly in the area of sanitation, which had reached a crisis situation in Ghana.

Mr. Musah argued that various governments over the years had failed to demonstrate political commitment to the sector resulting in its current poor performance, especially in the area of sanitation where a study had shown just a minute improvement from 10 per cent in 2006 to 11 per cent as at 2008.

He said the sector should be given adequate infrastructure and services to enable it to support the MDGs to promote health, education, food security, gender equality and poverty reduction,

Mr. Musah explained that the meeting which was the first of its kind would be attended by Ministers of Finance from 18 developing countries including Ghana, Liberia and Uganda, and accompanied by their Ministers responsible for water and sanitation as well as Ministers of Development Co-operation from donor countries.

The meeting would offer the opportunity to reverse the political and financial neglect of a crisis that was undermining all progress towards the attainment of the MDGs.

Mr. Musah explained that the meeting, which also formed a key component of Sanitation and Water for All, a global framework for Action, would provide a forum for mutual accountability for reaching consensus on the key challenges blocking progress and for agreeing and reviewing key policy or financing actions.

Mr. Patrick Apoya, out-going Executive Secretary, Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation, said the meeting would be expected to clearly articulate progress and challenges faced by their respective countries and demonstrate concrete commitments to dedicate resources and attention to the sector.

He said in view of this requirement, the Coalition was calling on the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, to urgently hold high level talks and discussions with the Ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing as well as the Local Government and Rural Development to get government's position clearly articulated.

Mr. Apoya said the Coalition was also calling for all national budgetary commitments and appropriations made to the water and sanitation agencies such as the Community Water and Sanitation (CWSA), Ghana Water Company Limited and Aqua Vitens Rand Limited as well as the Water Directorate to be released and the agencies empowered to access and utilize the funds.

He said all these demands were to facilitate and create an urgent awareness of the water and sanitation demands of the country and help them in their preparations to ensure that no credible national plan failed through lack of finance.

GNA

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