The technical coordinator of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at the World Vision International Mr. Attah Arhin has bemoaned the share of the budget allocated for the water and sanitation department in the various MMDAs, describing it as woefully inadequate.

According to Mr. Arhin, a huge chunk of the monies allocated to the department goes into salaries at the behest of the implementation of policies and programmes on water and sanitation.

Speaking to the media sensitization program organized by World Vision in partnership with Ghana Jounqlist Association in Sunyani, Mr Arhin further stated from 2016 till date, successive governments have failed to invest in the area of water and sanitation.

"It is very unfortunate successive governments have failed to dedicate enough money to departments charged to ensure sanity in the country. And we are aware that the bases should start from the communities but the MMDAs are failing to devote enough budget allocation to support this course" he revealed.

Commenting on President Akuffo Addo's promise to make the national capital, Accra the cleanest in Africa, Mr. Arhin opined the idea might not come to fruition based on the attitude if government in the area of sanitation.

"It requires more than a mantra to achieve such a feat. Government has to make conscious efforts both  financially and logistically to ensure its realisation. With the current attitude of the government, it won't attain fruition" Mr Arhin objected.

He called for a paradigm shift in the area of waste management, stressing the MMDCES have over the years proven they are unable to handle the issue of waste management satisfactorily.

Mr. Arhin also encouraged the general public to practice hand washing as it promotes the general health of the individual.

"One of the most important compnent of WASH is hand washing; not just mere hand washing but under running wate with soap. World Vision is currently undertaking a project in basic schools to help them cultivate this habbit to prevent diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and other insanitary-related ones" he added.

Hand washing, he noted aids in the prevention of diseases including diarrhoea, cholera and pneumonia.

Some statistics on WASH in the country

About 3,600 children die each year in Ghana from diarrhea and even more from pneumonia

Almost 23% of children in Ghana suffer from stunting (chronic malnutrition linked to poor water and sanitation)

Proper handwashing can reduce diarrhea and pneumonia by up to 50%

Improved sanitation can reduce diarrhea rates by 36% but only 15% has access to improved sanitation

Access to safe water (89% compared to 76% MDG target)

Access to improved sanitation (15%
compared to MDG target of 54%)

Shared latrines (59%)

Open defecation (19%)

Basic drinking water (79%; B/A – 84%)

Basic sanitation (21%; B/A – 20%)

Basic hygiene (48%; B/A – 39%)

More than 1 in every 5 Ghanaians (22%) practice open defecation (B/A – 17%)

Water quality is still a major concern
Close to 8 in every 10 households had E-coli in their drinking water, while close to half of all water sources were affectedaffected.

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