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01.08.2005 General News

Cabinet to consider draft water policy

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Akosombo, Aug. 1 GNA- Cabinet is expected to consider a draft policy that will spell out the principles and modalities for the extraction and usage of water the country in early September this year. Mr Mintah Afosa Aboagye, Director of Water, Ministry of Works and Housing, said this when he was leading the discussion on the Draft Water policy at a forum in Akosombo.

He said: "The absence of a comprehensive water policy has brought about some forms of duplications and coordination problems in water deliver."

More than 50 members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing, managers of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and experts on water were attending the three-day retreat to share ideas on how to enhance water deliver.

Mr Aboagye noted that some donors took advantage of the "void" in water delivery system in the country to impose their ideas on the country when offering assistance.

He said the proposed policy that would revolve around the Water Resources Commission (WRC) and the CWSA sought to recognise strategic environment assessment as a toll for managing the extraction and use of water.

Mr Aboagye said: "We have also subjected it to much scrutiny to find out how conflict in mandated institutions can be avoided and how they can reinforce each other's foundation to execute the task before them. WRC coordinates GWSL, urban water supply as CWSA takes care of rural water and sanitation."

He said the basic principle underlying the proposed policy include:

"The fundamental right of all people, without discrimination, to safe and adequate water. Water is recognised as a finite and vulnerable resource and that development should be linked to water use" Mr Aboagye warned that any one caught polluting the water bodies would be severely dealt with adding that: "Under the policy, the principles of equity and gender in water delivery would be pursued aggressively. We would also pursue international cooperation for sustainable development of shared basins in Ghana and Burkina Faso". Contributions from participants included the inclusion of cultural rights and the need to categorise water resource as a national security concern.

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