We’ll Improve Sanitation – Kofi Adda
Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources has reaffirmed government’s commitment to supporting prudent initiatives aimed at increasing public access to safe water and improved sanitation.
The Minister was addressing a group of African Water, construction and building experts at this year’s three-day Water Africa and West Africa Building and Construction Trade seminar and exhibition.
The event organised by ACE event management, a UK-based organisation was on the theme: “Ghana’s Urban and Rural Water and Sanitation Challenge in the 21st Century.”
The event was aimed at creating a two-way flow of information for the visitors and participants to help them analyse their sector needs and take steps for expansion and improvement.
Mr Adda explained that the quest for increased access to safe water formed part of the government’s vision to improve health outcomes for economic growth and development.
Mr Adda said Ghana had chalked out very encouraging improvements over the years in the water sector.
“The Joint Monitoring Platform (JMP) by WHO and UNICEF stated that Ghana and the world at large has managed to reduce by half the number of people using unimproved sources of drinking water.
“Indeed the 2015 JMP updated report states that 89 per cent of Ghana’s population has access to improved water source,” he said.
However, he said, the country had suffered delays in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the area of sanitation, which was quite worrying.
“Whereas water sector achieved its target, basic sanitation lagged far behind with a coverage rate of 15 per cent as against an MDG target of 54 per cent (Joint Monitoring Platform Updates, 2015),” he said.
The report also indicated that there is currently a deficit of 4,000,000 toilets, which according to the Minister, is likely to increase as the country’s population is growing.
“As at 2015, 19 per cent of Ghana’s of Ghana’s population still practices open defecation, as sad reality,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the USAID WASH for Health Annual Report 2015 published in 2016 puts Ghana as the 5th cholera-endemic country in the world.
He blamed these problems on the public mismanagement of solid waste and the menace of illegal mining and said the country could only achieve its water and sanitation sector target if it combated poor sanitation practices among the people and clamped down on illegal mining.