The Alliance for WASH Advocacy (A4WA), a Coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) and networks, has urged Government to establish a Sanitation Fund to cushion its policies geared towards addressing sanitation issues in the country.
The WASH is the collective term for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; due to their interdependent nature, these three core issues are grouped together to represent a growing sector.
According to the Coalition, the establishment of such a Fund would also create an opportunity for the private sector and other corporate organisations to make inputs, thereby, having an avenue to channel resources into it.
The Coalition made the recommendation to the Government, when it paid a courtesy call on Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources in Accra.
The A4WA delegation include the Intervention Forum, SNV – Ghana, WaterAid Ghana, CONIWAS, World Vision, SafeWater Network, People’s Dialogue, Catholic Relief Services and Plan International, Ghana.
The Coalition proposed some key areas for consideration in the development of the Ministry’s Strategic Plan and beyond; namely review and alignment of sector policies, provision of adequate sanitation financing and intensification of efforts towards ending Open Defecation.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency after the courtesy call, Ms Nora Ollennu, Chief Executive Officer, Intervention Forum, commended the Government on its recent launch of the National Sanitation Campaign project, which was geared towards addressing sanitation and hygiene issues in the country.
Ms Ollenu, who, on behalf of the Coalition presented a Communique to the Minister, said the Coalition believed that through evidence-based advocacy by CSOs, a lot of headway could be made in alleviating the negative WASH conditions that affect the people.
“As allied partners, we essentially look to contribute positively to national sanitation policy changes/reforms, by linking generated evidence to engender consensus building with key national actors so as to improve upon existing policy and implementation support mechanisms for effective WASH service delivery at all levels,” she stated.
“We hold the belief that through evidence-based advocacy by right holders and CSOs; and strong dedication by duty bearers towards fulfilling commitments, a lot of headway can be made in alleviating the negative WASH conditions that affect masses in the country,” she added.
Ms Ollenu said: “Given our collective work towards sanitation access for all and interest in the prospective success of the country’s WASH strategy and agenda, we wish to call your attention, that of your Ministry as well as the Office of the President to the certain critical areas that need to be looked at; both in the development of the new-five strategic plan and beyond”.
Ms Ollennu said as allied partners, they were eager to contribute positively to national sanitation policies by linking evidence to engender consensus building with key national actors to improve upon existing policy and implementation support mechanisms for effective WASH service delivery at all levels.
Mr Attah Arhin, WASH Technical Coordinator, World Vision, said involving the private sector would also help drive government’s commitment to see to it that the WASH sector grows.
He said research shows that 20 per cent of Ghanaians practice open defecation in a day; adding that, considering its health implications and its negative impact on tourism, there should be appropriate measures to curb this menace.
He said a report by the World Bank’s indicates that Ghana loses $79 million every year due to open defecation, and as such, addressing the issues would save the nation money, which would be invested in other productive sectors.
Mr Adda said the Government was already concerned about issues being raised by the Coalition; and as such the Ministry had embarked upon reviews of policies in the WASH sector.
He said however that, not an entire review would be undertaken but the Ministry intends to synchronize the broad strategies under the policies and come up with a strategic plan.
He said this would be a broad map to provide directions; then they could further drill down to each of the specific areas of interest and as well work out the detailed plans to ensure its implementation.
Mr Adda described sanitation financing as a major issue, which had to be addressed adequately for stakeholders to be able to get resource released to ensure that they deliver.
He said the draft policy, which was before Cabinet on the creation of National Sanitation Authority had made provisions for a Sanitation Fund.