Participants at this year’s annual Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) conference have bemoaned the lack of requisite and standardized data on the sector.
They said standard and reliable data was a source of real-time information for planning and development purposes, hence the lack of it had, over the period, hampered proper development planning to meet the needs of people.
Madam Cecilia Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, therefore, charged sector players to rethink the generation of local data for their work.
She said the sector houses fragmented data sources, which needed to be streamlined for efficient and effective service delivery.
The Conference was dubbed: “MOLE XXX” on the theme: “30 Years of Multi-Stakeholder WASH Dialogue: Reflections and Prospects.”
This year’s MOLE XXX conference brought together about 150 participants comprising civil society and non-governmental organisations, agencies in the WASH sector and members of the Ghana WASH Journalists Network to review the current landscape and identify contextual issues for reflections and stimulate a dialogue on best practices.
Mr Kwaku Quansah, a Deputy Director of the Environmental Health and Sanitation of the Ministry, said generating primary data was crucial when it came to planning and that the Ministry had plans to train the metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies on techniques for data collection.
Already, the World Bank is assisting the Ministry with the Sector Information System to generate data for its activities.
The Zoomlion Company, according to Dr Glenn Gyimah, the Head of Research and Quality Assurance, had procured the services of some Norwegian experts to begin a pilot project on Data Collection in the Greater Accra Region.
It is expected to be rolled out throughout the country to enable the company have good data in planning for waste management facilities suitable for their operational areas.
Dr Gyimah called for mass education with support from the Information Services Department and the National Commission for Civic Education on attitudinal change towards waste handling and disposal.
Ms Irene Sawerteh, the Programme Manager, who spoke on; “Neglected Tropical Diseases in the WASH,” called on players to effectively collaborate in sharing information and help in the implementation of joint programmes to raise awareness on such diseases.
She called on the communities to stop open defecation and other ill practices to save water bodies.