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General News Fri, 30 Jun 2017

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Stakeholder forum on Water and Sanitation opens

A three-day stakeholders’ forum to chart a strategic plan for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is underway at Atimpoku in the Eastern Region.

The forum brought together development partners and stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector to share collective knowledge and experiences to map out strategic direction for all players to play a role in addressing challenges in the sector.

He said the forum was to come out with a comprehensive and integrated strategic road map for the sector ministry.

Mr Kofi Adda, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, said previous governments had made efforts to bring water and improve sanitation to the citizenry, but there were still gaps in addressing these challenges.

He mentioned leadership and lack of commitment as some of the deficiencies hampering the ability to sustainably address environmental issues in the country.

Mr Adda said government created the Ministry to give focus and attention to these issues and lauded the support of civil society organisations and development partners for making it possible.

“The need for a shared vision, a well-crafted mission statement, objectives with measure able indicators aligned with actions that are time bound in the context of a sector-wide approach was crucial for the Ministry”.

He commended development partners both bilateral and multilateral for their desire to support government to address environmental challenges, saying government had secured 2 billion dollars from China to add to the resource of the Ministry.

The Minister said he inaugurated a novel concept of harnessing the brain power in the sanitation area from academia known as Tarsus-Ghana to tap the research initiatives and outputs of concerned intellectuals to feed into policy and influence decision making.

He called for harmonisation and synchronisation of stakeholders’ plans to facilitate smooth operations and ensure efficiency of resource use.

“The need for enhanced capacity for the new Ministry and a reliable ad timely database all in line with the application of modern, state-of-the art and emerging technologies are all relevant issues that need attention.”

Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Chairman of the Council of State said the current state of the country’s environmental sanitation was appalling in that Ghana was ranked 7th dirtiest country in the world.

He urged government to review all past strategic documents to identify factors that impede smooth success in addressing environmental issues and develop actionable policies for effective implementation.

Nana Siriboe II called for holistic discourse devoid of politics to ensure government provide affordable quality water to meet the Sustainable Development Goal six.

Source: GNA

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