Published on: 25/08/2017
Stockholm, The Hague, Accra (25 August 2017) - How can Ghana strive to best achieve its ambitious agenda on sustainable water and basic sanitation for all by 2025? And transform the capital Accra into the cleanest city in Africa to boot. Ghana’s first ever Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources will provide the answers at a press briefing on 28 August during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The press briefing will be held from 12.30 – 13.00 CET in Room 501, Press Room, Folkets Hus (City Conference Centre), Barnhusgatan 12-14.
In July 2011 the World Bank upgraded Ghana to lower middle-income status, yet coverage for safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services is one of the lowest in Africa. The latest United Nations statistics reveal that only 27% of the population has access to safely managed drinking water, 14% has basic sanitation and 19% has access to water and soap for handwashing. Cholera is endemic in Ghana. Diarrhoea kills about 14,000 children under five years annually.
At the beginning of this year, Ghana’s new government took an important step to prioritise the water and sanitation sector. It launched a new dedicated Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, headed by Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda. The government was quick to set ambitious targets for WASH: making capital Accra the cleanest city in Africa, eradicating open defecation by 2020, and constructing 25,300 boreholes and 300 small water systems. These targets all contribute to the goal of “sustainable water and basic sanitation for all by 2025” as formulated in the Water Sector Strategic Development Plan (WSSDP).So who will finance these grand ambitions? Up till now, users account for 75% of WASH funding, according to the 2017 GLAAS report. Donors contribute 19%, but they are withdrawing in the wake of Ghana’s promotion to lower middle-income status. There is a reported annual funding gap of US$ 200 million to achieve the country’s 2025 water vision of giving 8 million unserved people access to a safe water source.
During the inauguration of environmental sanitation think tank Tersus Ghana in June, Minister Joseph Kofi Adda announced that the government had secured a US$ 2 billion Chinese loan to tackle Accra’s sanitation problems. The Ghana Water Trust has been set up to attract private investments for small water enterprises. In an interview with IRC Ghana, Sanitation and Water Minister Kofi Adda said he “gained confidence from the good level of resources that the Minister of Finance had provided to the new ministry”.
In light of the challenges that Ghana is facing, Kofi Adda realises that he needs inputs from across the sector to realise the government’s ambitious goals. From 28-30 June, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources organised a sector stakeholder strategic planning workshop to agree on a framework for a 3-5 year medium term strategy to implement Ghana’s Water Sector Strategic Development Plan (WSSDP). They agreed on decision points and strategies for implementation and also the stakeholder roles were clarified.
Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda is Ghana’s first Minister for the new Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Navrongo Central Constituency in the Upper East region of Ghana. Hon. Kofi Adda was Ghana’s Minister for Manpower Development and Employment (2005-2006); Minister for Energy (2006-2008); and also MP of the Republic of Ghana (2003-2013). Hon. Adda is a senior member of the ruling New Patriotic Party and was a Management Consultant before his ministerial appointment.
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About IRC Ghana
IRC is an international think-and-do tank that works with governments, NGOs, entrepreneurs and people around the world to find long-term solutions to the global crisis in water, sanitation and hygiene services. At the heart of its mission is the aim to move from short-term interventions to sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services.
IRC Ghana is based in Accra and led by its Country Director, Vida Duti. Registered in Ghana in 2011, IRC Ghana consists of a multi-disciplinary team of some fifteen professional staff, supported by technical specialists from IRC in The Netherlands.
In Ghana, IRC is working to help achieve the Government of Ghana’s vision of providing universal access to water and sanitation services by 2025.
Media contact details IRC
Vera van der Grift, Head of Global Communications
T +31 6 20195160
Abubakari M.S. Wumbei, Communication Learning and Advocacy Coordinator, IRC Ghana
T+233 302 797 473 / +233 302 797 474