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UNICEF and the Netherlands launch 5.9 million urban sanitation project for 300,000 residents


The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through UNICEF on Tuesday launched  a 5.9 million Euros project aimed at improving access to sanitation with a focus on urban areas. This project is a component of the Ghana Netherlands WASH Programme.

Despite Ghana’s development as a middle income country which is worthy of note, a large proportion of Ghanaians, about 80 percent in the urban areas, still do not have access to improved sanitation. 

The poor sanitation in Ghana is likely to be a significant factor in the 4,500 children who die annually as a result of diarrhoea. In urban communities the disparities in access to sanitation are particularly acute, with the poor more than twelve times less likely to have access to improved sanitation.

Through the project, UNICEF and Netherlands will reach at least 300,000 people in urban areas as well asalmost 9,000 schoolchildren with improved, sustainable sanitation and water facilities and improved hygiene behaviours.

“Disparities are largely what will get in the way of achieving sustainable universal access to improved sanitation” said Rushnan Murtaza, OiC UNICEF Representative in Ghana.  

Whilst strong steps have recently been made by the Government to address rural sanitation challenges, the developments in urban sanitation remain ad hoc, based on individual projects, without a consolidated national strategy. 

“This project looks to address these challenges through a combination of a targeted on-ground programme to support sanitation in poor communities and schools and through the development of a national approach for urban household sanitation” said Fred Smiet from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Accra.

Ashaiman in the Greater Accra region, Ho in the Volta and Tamale in the Northern region are three urban settlements to benefit from this project. This project will also open new opportunities for private businesses. A component of the project will support entrepreneurs to build their capacities towards identifying appropriatesanitation technologies and services for the urban poor, and to turn them into viable businesses.


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