More WASH funding major challenge for Africa-Veep

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says the issue for more funding in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector will remain a major challenge to the African continent.

As such, he has urged leaders and experts on the continent to seek innovative ways by which the WASH Sector would be better positioned to effectively address the needs of Africans.

The Vice President said this when he opened the maiden “All System Go Africa Symposium,” in Accra yesterday.

Themed “Uniting Systems Thinking with Technical Expertise and Public Policy to Accelerate the Vision of Universal Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene,” the symposium was organised by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in collaboration with IRC and United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Dr Bawumia indicated that more funding would be a difficulty “especially during this period when the world is faced with the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and the Russia/Ukraine war.”

“This assertion is reinforced by estimates from the African Development Bank suggesting that, currently, the African Continent requires between $87 billion and $112 billion, additionally, financing the execution of WASH infrastructure annually,” he added.

The Vice President said the three-day Symposium presented a unique opportunity for stakeholders to engage in a dispassionate, honest and apolitical discussion to bring out the best strategies which would be implemented to achieve the ambitious WASH targets set by governments across the African Continent.

Dr Bawumia noted that the improvement in the number of households having access to toilet facilities and basic drinking water had resulted in significant gains with “not a single case of cholera recorded over the past 5 years.”

“Ghana’s achievement has been possible, for instance in the sanitation space, because of the government’s decision to continue to encourage the Public-Private Partnership option in the execution of socio-economic infrastructure,” he added.

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah said the symposium had come at the right time as “having applied all the available strategies in delivering WASH service to our people, there still exist gaps that need to be filled.”

“So, it is important to seek and adopt other effective strategies that would help in addressing these gaps. It is against this background that I find the theme for the occasion which is to find a new response to the challenges facing our WASH sector most appropriate,” she added.

Ms Dapaah emphasised that the quest to attain the Sustainable Development Goal six (SDG6), which sought to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” was a herculean task which could not be achieved through ‘’business as usual’’.

“It is therefore incumbent on all of us to embrace a new way of doing things to attain this vision,” she added.


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