Tamale, Aug. 25, GNA – The Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), has appealed to the government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure the timely release of budgetary allocations to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sectors to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
It has also called for the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee on water and sanitation comprising the Ministries of Water Resource Works and Housing, Local Government and Rural Development and Finance and Economic Planning to facilitate transparent and coordinated resource allocation to benefit the poor.
The CONIWAS made these recommendations in a communiqué at the close of a four-day conference which also marked the Mole XXIII Conference of the association. It was on the theme; “Financing WASH sector: Past, Current and Vision for the Future”.
“Conference noted the challenges communities are facing in financing capital maintenance of WASH facilities and call for the establishment of a national WASH fund that will pool resources from the replacement accounts of Small Town Water and Sanitation Management Teams and other resources,” it said.
It called for the effective operations of the Community Water Sanitation Agency and its elevation from an Agency to Authority with greater financial oversight responsibility over rural water operations adding that fiscal decentralization should be promoted with transfer of funds to district assemblies to support development projects.
The communiqué also called on development partners to collaborate with national and local governments to include support for capacity building by adopting a comprehensive approach to include tools and equipments to facilitate better performance.
It noted that government should explore private sector financing as an additional option or source of financing local development plans for the WASH sector to focus on supporting pro-poor service provision.
The conference also opined that citizen's engagement was critical and mutually beneficial to leadership and citizens as it culminates in win-win situation and task the Local Government sector to mainstream the process at the local level with backing from all actors as a minimum accountability mechanism.
It called for the inclusion of pragmatic programmes and projects in WASH service under the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority to provide comprehensive development blue print for the northern belt of the country.