Water is crucial for the survival of every being in the world. The commemoration of World Water Day (WWD) every 22nd March, was instituted by a UN conference in 1992 at Rio de Janeiro, to call on the world, to recognize the importance of water for our lives.
WWD has been commemorated under several themes annually since 1992 but the underlying message has been to remind everyone to protect our water resources and for every country to provide safe water to everyone regardless of the place they are located. This year’s theme is, “Climate Change and Water”, which emphasizes the need to protect our water resources.
According to the United Nations, over two billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources, and by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of freshwater.
As we commemorate this year’s World Water Day (WWD), CONIWAS would like to commend the government on efforts being made to ensure that Ghanaians have access to safe water. It is heartwarming to know that 86% of Ghanaians have access to safe drinking water (MICS 2017/2018).
There is however more work to be done to reach the unserved and to ensure that water quality is assured from the source right up to the point of use. According to the MICS 2017/18 report, 14% of Ghanaians access to water from unsafe sources. Galamsey activities continue to threaten our freshwater bodies despite measures put in place. We would, therefore, like to call on the government to deepen its efforts at curbing the menace to ensure the safety of our water bodies.
Currently, the Corona Virus Pandemic has taken over the world and has highlighted the importance of hand hygiene. Experts have emphasized the need for regular handwashing as one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of the virus. The need for water at this time by the entire populace cannot be overemphasized.
As we celebrate WWD today, we would like to join stakeholders to call on the government to ensure that water is available in adequate quantities to every Ghanaian to aid effective hand washing, as we all fight against this deadly virus.
COVID-19 and the acute water shortage in the country
For CONIWAS, the provision of safe water and sanitation should be regarded as a social good that protects the public from various diseases including outbreaks such as COVID-19. Ghana has been known for many water and sanitation-related disease outbreaks, especially cholera.
Water is very crucial for everyone, especially in these trying times. It is said that some parts of Ghana have been experiencing water shortages in recent times. We would like to call on government and all stakeholders, particularly the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to work hard in resolving the challenges and ensure people have water for all essential uses at this time.
We also call on all Ghanaians to use water responsibly and to contribute their quota in the protection of our water resources.