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Sanitation initiative launched in Asutifi North district

Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, says the implementation of government’s coordinated social and economic development policies is a demonstration of its commitment towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to him, the role assigned to President Nana Akufo-Addo as co-chair of the SDGs, puts the country in a peculiar situation to demonstrate leadership, commitment and support for projects and interventions towards achievement of the SDGs.

Speaking at the launch of the “Asutifi North District Ahonodie Mpontuo” WASH Initiative (ANAM WASH Initiative), the Regional Minister said the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation is mandated to ensure coherence in policy formulation and coordination among stakeholders in Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) interventions, to consolidate all existing national policies on sanitation.

He therefore entreated the assembly and institutions to take leadership in identifying innovative ways of funding their development.

The “Asutifi North District Ahonodie Mpontuo”, is an initiative formulated in line with SDG 6 which seeks to galvanize support, resources and expertise of strategic partners to ensure inhabitants of the district have access to safe and reliable water, and sanitation services by the year 2030 and beyond.

He lamented the Joint Monitoring Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), reveals an estimated 159 million people still collect drinking water directly from unsafe sources, while 892 million still defecate in the open.

“UNICEF-Ghana has reported that about 4,000 Ghanaian children die each year from diarrhea, and about 26% of Ghanaian children suffer from stunting. While hand-washing can reduce diarrhea and pneumonia by up to 50%, less than 15% of Ghanaian households have hand-washing facilities. While improved sanitation can reduce diarrhea rates by 36%, only 15% of Ghanaians have access to improved sanitation,” he lamented.

Asomah-Cheremeh therefore commended the Asutifi North District Assembly for demonstrating collective resolve to tackle the areas developmental challenges. He urged residents and stakeholders to change their attitude towards WASH and support the initiative.

The Country Director of IRC-Ghana, Vida Duti, in an address said the development of ANAM WASH Initiative is to accelerate the rate of progress and demonstrate how to attain full WASH coverage in a district, considering the slow progress made with the implementation of the Ghana Water Sector Strategic Development Plan (2014), according to the Joint Monitoring Programme 2017 report.

She said the Asutifi North District was selected through rigorous and diligent process, and therefore appealed to stakeholders to support the initiative aimed at improving access to basic water services by 2030.

The Initiative is funded by Conrad N.Hilton Foundation (CNHF) Grantees, and implemented by IRC-Ghana in collaboration with the Asutifi North District Assembly, and with support from CNHF partners: Safe Water Network (SWN), World Vision International, Netcentric Campaigns, Aquaya Institute and National foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF), Water.org Inc and GIZ.

By: Mashoud Kombat/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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