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2 million Ghanaians forced to use unsafe water-WaterAid Ghana

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Statistics from Water Aid Ghana indicate that nearly two million people in rural areas in the country are forced to used unsafe water.

According to the same statistics, globally, 837 million people have no access to safe drinking water, and out of this number, only 15% has access to the precious resource.

Coverage of water in the urban areas stands at 93% while that of rural areas stands at 84%.
Two point four (2.4 ) billion people globally are said to have no access to sanitation and about one billion people still practicing open defecation.

In Ghana, 85% of Ghanaians has no basic toilet,  Water Aid revealed. Sixty percent, Water Aid said, use shared toilets with 6% using unapproved toilets.

Ghana's Water, Hygiene and Sanitation(WASH) sector needs an amount of 386 million dollars to address challenges facing the sector. However, the fifth parliament of Ghana approved only 255 million Ghana cedis for the sector.

Goal Seventeen of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which focuses on safe water mandates countries to pay special attention to water and sanitation.

The SDGs goal 17 encourages global action to support clean water and sanitation. However, governments, Water Aid pointed out, have not shown enough commitment to the sector. The WASH sector depends on sustainability and all efforts must be geared towards ensuring sustainable water for communities.

The maintenance culture in Ghana was also identified by the Water Aid as one key issue affecting water facilities being provided either by government or a nongovernmental organizations.

Presenting the state of water and sanitation in Ghana to journalists in Tamale at a day's advocacy workshop, Communications and Campaign Officer at Water-Aid offices, Ms. Kafui Yvonne Nyanku was not happy about what she called lack of ownership by beneficiary communities with water facilities.

According to her, 29% of rural pumps have broken down as a result of lack of maintenance. She pleaded with communities with water facilities to institute measures that will keep the facilities operating for a long time.

"There should be sufficient political commitment to improving access to water by the year 2020 through adequate education to ensure that WASH projects are implemented in the marginalized communities," she said.

According to Ms Kafui Yvonne, a large chunk of the budget approved by parliament was from donor partners and urged parliamentary select committee in the area to press for more funds.

"How much is Ghana government committing in the sector, very little," she adds.
For us to ensure sustainability in water facilities in communities, Ms Yvonne suggested more training of community members and volunteers.

 

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