By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, March 21, GNA - Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources has re-affirmed government’s commitment to provide access to clean and adequate water, especially for the rural dwellers to prevent water-borne diseases.
He said access to clean drinking water, effective sanitation, and education on the importance of good hygiene practice, were some of the most cost effective ways of achieving results in health.
Mr Adda said this in Accra at a forum dubbed “Beyond the Pipe: The Financial Case for Small Water Enterprises organised by Safe Water Network.
The forum was to dialogue on small water enterprises and explores how they could contribute to achieve safely managed water services, which was consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals 6.1.
He said sanitation and water were at the core of sustainable development, and that the creation of the Ministry would help achieve much of the developmental targets of the country.
Mr Adda explained that the decision to split water and sanitation from the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development stemmed from the neglect of the sub-sectors.
He announced that government had allocated resources for the establishment of a new building for the sector to ensure smooth and effective operations for its activities.
Mr Adda was optimistic that the new Ministry would give meaning to the country’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal six, which was to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Mr Charles Nimako, Director of Africa Initiatives, Safe Water Network, said it was critical to develop financing solutions to secure funding for the start-up programme and technical support required for sustainable water systems.
“This is necessary because there is a funding gap of more than 200 million dollars needed annually to achieve the country’s 2025 water vision and meet the needs of the more than eight million people without access to a reliable source of safe water,” he added.
He said the Network had developed public-private partnership in small towns and peri-urban areas to provide more people with reliable safe water access in the country.
Mr Joseph Ampadu-Boakye, Market Development and Partnerships, Safe Water Network, said there was the need for the country to develop Water Enterprises Trust to address the need for long term sustainability and scale of small water enterprises.
He explained that the fund would enable the expansion of small water enterprises that meet safe, affordable and reliable access standards, saying 8.3 million people lack safe water access, with 3.2 million living in small towns and peri-urban areas.
Mr Chris Dunston, Senior Program Officer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, said it was important to build a community of practice to harness the know-how, market knowledge and resources to improve and globally scale small water enterprises.