WASH sector players urge to streamline their activities

Kwabia Owusu-Mensah GNA

Fumesua, (Ash), July 10, GNA – Mr. Kofi Adda,
Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has asked all actors in the water,
sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector to streamline and bring their activities
to conform to the national implementation guidelines of the community led total
sanitation (CLTS) developed by his ministry.

He said there should be no excuse for WASH
sector players to side-step the national sector implementation guidelines for
their own project-specific ones.

He made the call in an address read for him at
the opening of the 5th national basic sanitation stock-taking forum held in

Mr. Adda underlined the need for stronger
collaboration between the sector players and the environmental health and
sanitation directorate of the ministry to ensure effective coordination and
supervision of activities.

“Five years of rural sanitation model and
strategy (RSMS) implementation in Ghana, learning for scaling up, now and
beyond” was the theme chosen for the five-day event.

The RSMS approach seeks to eliminate the
practice of open defecation and promote the use of improved latrines in

It had been developed to ensure consistency of
sanitation delivery services in rural communities and currently being
implemented across 138 districts in the 10 regions.

The strategy had since its inception five
years ago, supported over 3,000 rural communities (about 750,000 people) to
achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.

Processes are also underway towards developing
the Urban Sanitation Model and Strategy.

Mr. Adda noted that Ghana had significantly
low improved sanitation levels compared to other essential services.

The improved sanitation coverage currently
stands at 15 per cent. Nearly one of four households (22.9%) practice open
defecation or have no toilet facility.

The practice of hand washing with soap is also
low with only 24 per cent of households having hand washing facilities, and even
with that, only half of these have soap and water on location.

These combined with uncontrolled disposal of
fecal sludge, poor sanitation and unhygienic practices, had become major
contributors to the many water and sanitation related diseases including

Mr. Adda said the government had led the
development and implementation of a number of policies and strategies to
address these challenges.

These include the national environmental
sanitation strategy and action plan (NESSAP), District/Municipal/Metropolitan
Environmental Sanitation Strategy and Action Plan (DESSAP/MESSAP) and Strategic
Environmental Sanitation Investment Plan (SIP) among others.

He encouraged the stakeholders to collaborate
with the government to improve sanitation coverage.

Mr. David Duncan, an official of the United
Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), urged strong
political will to address the challenges of poor sanitation, adding that, with
strong commitment by all key stakeholders, Ghana could make progress and change
the situation.

Mr. Tony Tsekpetse-Akuamoah, National CLTS
Coordinator, said the project was an innovative way of mobilizing communities
to completely eliminate open defecation.


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