The Council of Ministers of the Volta Basin Authority (VBA) have held their seventh ordinary session with the call on member countries to take
pragmatic measures to improve the utilisation of the Volta Basin for the benefit of the people.
The call was made in a speech read on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science and
Technology at the end of a five-day meeting of the Council of Ministers in Accra.
The meeting was to stimulate action among VBA Council Ministers, who are made up of Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana would continue to cooperate and reinforce consultation with her neighbours to collectively manage and share the benefit of the countries’ trans-boundary rivers and aquifers.
“It is heart-warming that the six countries along the Volta Basin continue to demonstrate genuine concern to manage, develop and share water resources by committing to
the growth and effective functioning of the VBA,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo asked the Ministers to collectively work together to address water management challenges and to exchange quality data and information.
He said there was the need for the Council to develop and implement practicable interventions to target climate change that should include; appropriate local water
conservation and utilisation to promote development.
“We should realise that we are in the era of the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we need collective action that will deal with SDG ‘6’ of
implementing integrated water resources management at all levels,” he said.
Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources expressed happiness that the Council of Ministers meeting could give Ghana the opportunity to
exhibit her commitment towards contributing to the effective functioning of the Volta Basin Authority.
“It also serves as an occasion for us to publicise and promote and needed awareness of the authority in Ghana as a way of ensuring the enhancement of international
cooperation necessary for the management of the water resources of the Volta Basin,” she said.
She said the two key global conventions on water (1992 Water Convention and 1997 water courses Conventions) which was open to all United Nations Member States, now served as the mechanism that countries of the VBA were called upon to accede to in order to strengthen international cooperation.
It is my expectation and hope that the meeting will mark our joint work and effort through which we will be able to reach our fundamental goal,” she said.
Mr Niouga Ambroise Ouedraogo, the Minister of Water and Sanitation in Burkina Faso, who represented the Chairman of the VBA Council of Ministers, urged governments to
prove their willingness of equitable sharing of common message to ensure and promote economic wellbeing of the people.
He emphasised the need for member countries to do more to support the Executive Director of VBA to ensure the success of the Volta Basin programme.