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Stakeholders in water sector team-up to address perennial water crisis in the north



Perennial scarcity of water during dry seasons in Ghana has almost become an annual ritual when many communities, especially in rural areas, are compelled to fall on contaminated water bodies for their household chores and other activities.

For the urban and para-urban communities, it means spending more time than usual to get the same quantity of polluted water. But for rural communities, it means no access to water at all, or in cases where there is a source of the precious commodity, it is oftentimes shared with animals.

It is against this background that a consortium of organizations in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in Tamale known as Savanna Integrated (WASH) is mapping strategies to help end the ‘annual ritual’ of water crisis. WASH believes that the problem can be a thing of the past if all stakeholders in the sector are proactive in their approach.

At a round-table discussion to look at the content of a memorandum of understanding among members for strategies to employ in implementing activities for a three-year program, members shared critical views on why water crisis continues to bedevil a country like Ghana with a huge potential to harness its water bodies to meet the peoples needs.

The programs manager of the Wuni Zaligu Development Association (WUZDA), the lead organization in the consortium, Mr. Abdul Karim Ziblim said the lack of adequate planning on the part of both service providers and consumers is what is hindering a solution to the canker.

Mr. Ziblim said service providers like the Ghana Water Company Limited could consider investing more in water storage facilities to help store more water for use in times of drought.

According to him, the company has to take up the responsibility of reorienting consumers’ minds on the usage of water, to minimize misuse, adding that it could be done in a public education form through the media and other community outreach channels.

The director for Urban-net, also a member of the consortium, Mr. Zakariah Abdul Rasheed expressed worry about the level of pollution of water bodies by human activity in the region. According to Mr. Rashid, in the past, alternative water sources like dams and dug-outs played major roles in the water sector but that is no more the case now because of pollution.

To make matters worse, the fight to make water abundant and immediately available in Ghanaian communities is severely hampered by activities like open defecation and the dumping of refuse in water bodies, Mr. Rasheed lamented.





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