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Government advised to devote more funds to sanitation and water

WASH Budget
WASH Budget

The Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) has called on the government to increase budgetary allocation towards Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) to enable the country meet the investment requirement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.

CONIWAS also urged government to make full and timely releases of approved budgetary allocation to the WASH sector, adding that a report from Parliament Select Committee on Works and Housing shows that the total disbursement for the year 2018 was GHC 82 million out of the total budget allocation of GHC183 million.

The SDG 6 is an ambitious desire to “ensure availability and Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation for all’’ by 2030. Implied in this goal is good drinking water, safely managed sanitation and eliminating open defecation and water resources management.

CONIWAS say the government has sign onto the SDGs and it is expected to provide the necessary financial, human, material and technical resources as well as right policies to realise this ambition.

At a press conference organised by CONIWAS in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Yaw Atta Arhin, the Vice Chairman of CONIWAS, said a careful study of the 2019 budget indicates that the 2019 allocation for Sanitation and Water cannot make significant impact on access to sanitation and water as well as capacity development of the sector Ministry to exert the needed leadership required.

Mr Arhin said Ghana requires US$ 386 million annually to achieve SDG 6 by 2030 but the 2019 budget allocates only GHC 246m (US$ 50m), thus 13 per cent of the estimates required, making the allocation in 2019 woefully inadequate.

“It currently stands to suggest that if the allocation currently made, continues as a trend, Ghana cannot meets its SDG 6”.

He said a WHO-UNICEF report has rather revealed that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era witnessed great achievement in the Water Sub-sector with 89 per cent access rate while the sanitation sub-sector, within the same period recorded an abysmal 15 per cent access rate.

The MDG targets and aspiration were, however, much lower than the SDGs which target universal access.

Mr Arhin said though the budget allocation made to the WASH sector in the previous years have been fluctuating in nominal terms of GHC255 million for 2017, GHC189million for 2018 and GHC246 million for 2019, these allocations have been dwindling in relation to Gross Domestic Product of 0.5 per cent in 2017, 0.3 per cent in 2018 and 0.1 per cent in 2019.

He said CONIWAS position is that, the government should re-consider the quantum of the future allocation to the WASH sector and ensure that they are made in relation to the SDG WASH financing requirement and also reflective of current WASH challenges.

A CONIWAS’ budget tracking report for 2018 (January to September) reveals low redemption rates of approved budget, Mr Arhin said.

The Coalition is, therefore, requesting the government to cease the trend of poor disbursement to the sector in the 2020 budget and all subsequent national budget allocations.

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