Policy implementation key to end sanitation crisis in Ghana

As Ghana seeks ways of dealing with its sanitation crisis, stakeholders and experts believe leadership is one critical thing required to prevent an environmental catastrophe.

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Issues of sanitation, they believe, can be prioritized so policy implementation can be done ahead of the challenges and deliver on the country’s sanitation goals.

poor state of sanitation “The sector cannot be driven by externally funded projects if we want to progress as fast as we need to,” Issakah Balima Mussah, Country Representative of Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor (WSUP), a UK-based organizaiton to help cities improve water and sanitation services, said during a workshop on the Campaign for Sanitation in Ghana Program (CSGP) here Monday.

The CSGP, which commenced in April 2014, is sponsored by the Gates Foundation, and implemented by Water Aid Ghana and other WaterAid affiliates.

The program, which is expected to end in September 2016, is intended to promote advocacy from the community to national level.

Ghana missed out on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target on sanitation, scoring 15 percent at the end of the MDG periods last December against a country goal of 54 percent.

“Ghana needs a Sanitation Authority, just as there is a Ghana Health Service to lead in the implementation of sector policies,” Mussah urged.

He argued that the West African country was not lacking in policies, but the implementation of the policies, hence the need for such a body to see to the translation of policies into action.

Afia Zakiya, Country Director for WaterAid Ghana (WAG), intimated that there was the need to hold people accountable to ensure that people put in charge of sanitation did their work.

“There is also the need to strengthen capacities of our institutions that are in charge of the sector as well as find ways to generate local revenue in order to finance ourselves out of the mess,” she said.

Kwaku Quansah, an official with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said the biggest challenge in Ghana’s sanitation sector was how to assess sanitation performance.

He reiterated the need to prioritize sanitation, especially in how local government assemblies spend their internally generated fund on sanitation activities. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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