By Fatima Anafu Astanga, GNA
Accra, Sept. 20, 2017 (GNA) – Government has been urged to increase investments in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) issues, to propel the needed development in communities.
Madam Yvonne Kafui Nyaku, Communications and Campaigns Officer of Water Aid, made the call in Bolgatanga at a workshop with the media to drum home the shortfalls in water and sanitation issues.
It was also to draw the attention of the media to the long distance trekking that women and girls continue to make in search of water daily in the communities.
She said even though Ghana made strides in water coverage and exceeded the MDGs targets in access to water, it should not be complacent with the achievement.
She reiterated that WASH remained a critical issue in the development agenda and that achievement in universal coverage of Sustainable Development Goal s(SDGs )target for 2030 required more commitments.
She said more funds was needed in WASH and should come with a plan that could be monitored by all and noted that municipal and district assemblies should be resourced to do more in mobilizing communities to build toilets and provide access to water for households.
The Communications and Campaigns Officer in an earlier presentation revealed that 840 million people globally do not have access to clean water and stressed that even where there was access there was still inequalities between the rich and poor, able and disabled people.
She said Water Aid’s research revealed that 14 per cent of Ghanaians have no access to water while two million people living in rural areas resorted to the use of unsafe water and facilities. Rural areas suffered sustainability issues with 29 per cent of hand dug wells with pumps were broken down and 49 per cent of such facilities performed optimally.
She noted that 93 per cent of people living in urban areas and 84 per cent of rural dwellers in Ghana had access to water which gave the country an admirable status per the MDGs.
On Sanitation, she said 2.4 billion people globally had no access to improved toilet facilities and one billion still practiced open defecation and stated that that was clear manifestation of poverty.
She said 85 per cent of Ghanaians did not have access to basic toilets whilst 60 per cent of people used shared toilets and 19 per cent did free range.
She said WASH issues were political and indicated that when there was universal coverage for water and sanitation, development would be propelled in all committees, and therefore called on government to prioritize WASH by resourcing MMDAs to conscientize communities on the issues and help them to have access to use of toilets and access to water.