The Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, the Upper East Regional Minister, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, regional and district directorates of the Ghana Health Services (GHS), Ghana Education Service (GES), and some traditional leaders in the Upper East region have commended the management and staff of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Ghana for the implementation of life-saving initiatives in the most deplorable communities in the region.
According to the Ministry and the key stakeholders CRS Ghana’s life-saving initiatives dubbed “Integrated Community Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement (ICOWASH 2.0)” Project currently being implemented across some of the poorest communities in two regions, including Upper East Region has contributed to improving access to water and sanitation in schools and health care facilities
Addressing the gathering at a short but colorful ceremony, the deputy minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr. Issahaku Chinnia Amidu expressed his excitement over the provision of the multi-million-dollar water project across the region. He further acknowledged the quality of water, sanitation and hygiene services provided by the organization.
Mr. Issahaku Chinnia Amidu revealed that CRS Ghana has been a reliable partner in the WASH sector for decades and has brought smiles to the most deprived and vulnerable people especially in the Upper East region.
“It is commendable that CRS Ghana in response to the need for prioritization of rural access to safe water has since 2017, invested over 9 million dollars in the implementation of water, sanitation, and hygiene activities in healthcare facilities, schools, and communities.”
Mr. Chinnia Amidu announced that the provision of WASH infrastructure by CRS Ghana falls in line with the Government of Ghana’s vision for the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector which is, “Water and Sanitation for all”.
He acknowledged that his ministry recognizes that CRS Ghana’s interventions have contributed significantly to improving access to potable water and improving the quality of healthcare delivery and patient safety in Ghana, especially in the rural areas.
The deputy minister explained that Government is working towards improving access to WASH services and ensuring that everyone everywhere in Ghana has access to adequate, safe, affordable, reliable, and sustainable water services, and practice safe sanitation and hygiene.
“Currently, there is an access gap for basic sanitation and safe drinking water services, especially in rural areas. Whilst at the national level, 81% of the population have access to safe drinking water, access in the rural areas stands at 67%. There is therefore a compelling reason for the government and its partners to prioritize access to safe drinking water in rural communities. In recognition of the fact that government alone cannot bridge this wide access gap, other stakeholders are always welcomed to partner government in the provision of WASH services towards achieving universal water coverage by 2030 which is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 6).
“Today is an exciting day as we witness the handing over of these three well-constructed limited mechanized water systems, together with the previously provided WASH facilities. I hope that these facilities will be operated and maintained efficiently by the beneficiary health facilities, Ghana Health Service, schools and communities for continuous, and sustainable delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene services to those in need.” Mr. Chinnia Amidu reiterated.
Meanwhile, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Stephen Yakubu in his welcome address called on the beneficiary communities and institutions to work together to ensure that the water systems and other WASH infrastructure provided by CRS Ghana are used for their intended purposes without compromising maintenance. “This means that we must work tirelessly to put pragmatic measures in place to ensure that the systems are functioning at all times.”
Mr. Yakubu assured stakeholders that the Regional Coordinating Council as part of its mandate will be touring the facilities during its quarterly monitoring visits to see the state of these facilities to ensure that the systems work at all times.
He, therefore, thanked the management and staff of CRS Ghana for their human centered and life-saving projects in the region and other parts of the country.
The Country Representative for CRS, Mr. Daniel Mumuni, intimated that “CRS Ghana has also provided PPEs and medical supplies, trained 66 health professionals in Health System Strengthening and Infection, Prevention and Control, Trained Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs), Sanitation Advocacy Groups (SAGs), Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) groups, Latrine Artisans, and Area Mechanics, to provide local capacity for operation and maintenance and long-term sustainability of WASH interventions through its WASH programmes.”
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH