Presidential Advisor calls for accountability in Ghana’s sanitation and water delivery

By Gifty Amofa / GWJN

Mr Paul Victor Obeng, Senior Advisor to Ghana’s President, John Mahama, has called on stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector to be bold in putting themselves in check if there has to be improvement.

“Call yourselves to order, be prepared to name and shame the non-performers”, he added.

Mr Obeng was speaking Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at the opening session of the three-day Mole XXIV (24) Conference being at Fumesua near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, themed “Building effective partnership for scaling-up sustainable sanitation services in Ghana’’.

Mole Conference annually brings together state agencies, civil society organisations, private participators in water and sanitation to brainstorm on how to improve access to these services.

It is being organised by the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) with support from many sector players including the Ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Local Government and Rural Development.

He stated that Ghana had not achieved its MDGs in water and sanitation with less than three years to 2015, the target year, hence the theme, saying, something went wrong and there is the need to focus and evaluate on the sector’s key objectives.

“They should also ask why they want to build an effective partnership and whether or not the first partnership did not work. And why it did not work, who did not work, among others would help them make amends,” he stated.

There is a sense of urgency as well as dynamism to recover the lost thus, set implementable and certain standards to resolve the situation, he urged participants.

Professor Mrs Esi Awuah, Vice Chancellor, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani said even though private sector participation had increased, work could not progress due to bribery and corruption, which had made contracts land in the hands of incompetent people.

She said political interference had also had a negative impact on the sector. “This discourages people from being responsible and encourages nepotism, tribalism and bribery,” she stated.

Countries are becoming dependent on development partners for service delivery since governments have low knowledge on quality delivery, she said, adding that every community is the determined by the quality of mind set of its leadership.

Mr Akwasi Oppong Fosu, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, tasked District Chief Executives (DCEs) to root-out indiscipline and politics and execute government policies and bye laws in the sector.

Any outbreak of disease related to sanitation and lack of safe water would have no boundaries and would not exempt anyone with a political tag, he explained.

Dr Doris Yaa Darteh, Chairperson of the Graphic Communications Group said, waste, if unattended to is a crisis and if nothing is done it would become a disaster.

She appealed to government to deal with plastic waste by educating the public to adapt the habit of separating waste for easy recycling by those in the business.

In a speech read for him by Mrs Vida Akyea Yeboah, Assistant Coordinating Director of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), the Ashanti Regional Minister called on parents and guardians to inculcate in their wards of school going age the practice personal hygiene.

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