The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Water and Sanitation has released a communiqué on their last and 31st Annual WASH Conference held at Abokobi-Teiman in the Greater Accra Region.

The annual Mole WASH Conference is a CSO-led multi-stakeholder platform aimed at reviewing sector performance.

Other areas the conference also reviewed are influencing policies, removing barriers, and promoting access to sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

The conference was opened by the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, with support from UNICEF and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands.

It was attended by some 197 participants drawn from the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Development partners, CSOs, Academic and Research Institutions among others.

The 4-day conference discussed four thematic areas, which are Drinking water and integrated Water Resources Management, Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene, Government and Institutional Development and Technology, Innovations and Private sector participation.

Addressing the media on the communiqué from the conference, the Chairman for CONIWAS, Attah Arhin stated that it was agreed that CONIWAS work in partnership with stakeholders to support the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in achieving the content of the communiqué.

The Chairman said the number one task on the communiqué, conference tasked CONIWAS to work on before November 2021 is data harmonization and knowledge management.

He said over the years data harmonization and knowledge management have been difficult to track sector performance which has been on the drawing board for years.

“So, we think that the time has come for us to take it seriously if we are to get it right. In terms of tracking sector progress and performance,” he reiterated.

Abstraction and water quality regulation was stated as part of the communiqué.

This, the conference resolved to introduce effective measures to regulate water abstraction and water quality to enhance water safety and sustainable management of Ghana’s water resources.

“Initiate the process of developing a National Hygiene Policy by the end of November 2021 in order to ensure compliance and enforcement of hygiene protocols, promote behavior change and ultimately improve public health,” he stated.

He further stated that the policy will consolidate the gains made in handwashing with soap arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

By: Isaac Dzidzoamenu

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