On 27 January, the African Ministers’ Council on Water Secretariat paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry for Sanitation and Water, Ghana. The delegation, led by the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, was received by the Minister of Water Resources, Ghana, Honourable Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
During the meeting, the Minister stated that Ghana had made strides in the sector. She highlighted that, by implementing some of its projects between 2018-2021, the Ministry has provided over 40 000 household toilets to help reduce open defecation in the country.
According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census released by the Ghana Statistical Service, the population with improved toilet facilities is about 80.9%. Of this, 25.3% of the populace use exclusive household toilet facilities (basic sanitation), and the remaining 55.6% use shared toilet facilities with multiple households. In addition, the 2021 Population and Housing Census released by the Ghana Statistical Service states that 87.7% of the populace has access to basic water supply services. During the meeting with Dr Rashid Mbaziira, Hon Mrs Cecilia Abena added that Ghana is on course to attain the Sustainable Development Goals Target 6.1.1. come 2030.
Regarding data management and information, the Minister reiterated that reliable and accurate data is critical for decision-making and planning, especially in a situation of limited resources.
She added that Ghana had participated actively during the production of the WASSMO report since 2011. In the last edition, Ghana was cited as one of the best-performing countries in data collection and reporting regarding meeting the WASSMO System’s numerous targets.
Even though developing the WASSMO report has been going on for some time, many countries, including Ghana, still find it difficult to provide data for some of the required indicators. Weaknesses exist in some national data, information management and monitoring systems, and the lack of credible and sufficient reporting on the state of the water resources within the African Continent, including Ghana, which has been the subject of various regional and global stakeholders’ fora.
In Ghana, a lot has been done to establish a robust monitoring system to help track the water and sanitation sector’s progress and to inform decision-making towards accelerated access to clean and safely managed water and sanitation services for all. Ghana will always play a key role in AMCOW. It will support policy revisions and the creation of reverse linkages for Ghana to share her experience and provide support to other Member States, says the Hon Minister.
On the revision of the African Water Vision, she added that Ghana is ready to be part of the countries to champion the commitment of developing a roadmap to formulate the post-2025 Africa Water Vision. The vision should be audacious enough to largely influence the post-2030 Developmental Agenda of the United Nations. The NGOR declaration in Senegal on ending Open defecation found space in the 2030 SDG targets, and the same must be the vision as we formulate the post-2025 Africa Water Vision. The Continent is blessed with substantial water resources, and the time has come to effectively harness these resources to better the lives of people within the Continent.