General News of Friday, 14 June 2019
The Alliance for WASH Advocacy (A4WA), a coalition of civil society organisations in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector has presented a position paper on review of key national WASH policies to the Government.
This position paper highlights the urgent need for the review of the National Water Policy (NWP) and the National Sanitation Policy (NSP) and its related strategic plans to align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 6, which entails ensuring the availability and sustainable management of WASH for all.
Madam Nora Ollenu, National Convener, A4WA and Dr Tanko Yussif Azzika, Research, Advocacy and Policy Lead, A4WA on Thursday jointly presented the draft policy document to Mr Joseph Obeng-Poku, Acting Chief Director, Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in Accra.
The A4WA is led by Intervention Forum and supported by the SNV under its Voice for Change Partnership Programme.
The A4WA is a coalition of WASH nongovernmental organisations and networks including SNV-Ghana, WaterAid Ghana, CONIWAS, Intervention Forum, World Vision, SafeWater Network, People’s Dialogue, Catholic Relief Services, Plan International Ghana, Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor and Skyfox Limited.
Madam Ollenu in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the Alliance noted in particular that the NWP 2007 and the Environmental Sanitation Policy (ESP 2010) documents were informed by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and needed to be reviewed to reflect the language, standards and aspiration of the SDG 6.
She said drawing on inputs from a recent research findings on the various policies and strategy documents in the WASH sector sponsored by the Alliance, the position paper provided an analysis on Ghana’s WASH policy landscape and offers a potential way forward to ensure that an open, workable and updated policies on WASH remained the surest way of ensuring the attainment of SDG 6 and thereby leaving no one behind.
“For instance, the SDG 6 and especially SDGS 6.1 and 6.2 has different layers of service standards for water and sanitation. It starts from no service to safely managed services. The MDGs layers ended with basic services.”
She said a cursory survey of the NWP 2007 provided a framework for sustainable development of Ghana’s water resources with an overall goal of achieving sustainable development, management and use of Ghana’s water resources to improve health and livelihoods, reduce vulnerability while assuring good governance for present and future generations.
She said an assessment of the NWP by A4WA revealed that there were some issues of concern such as the NWP 2007, which was only aligned to MDG WASH target which had since been replaced by the current SDG 6.
Madam Ollenu said the ESP presents environmental sanitation as one of the powerful drivers of human development.
She noted that their research had revealed that the development policy framework of the ESP was informed by the MDGs and so should be reviewed to align with the SDGs.
She said that the National Environmental Sanitation Strategy and Action Plan (NESSAP) was about raising awareness for changing the behaviours of people; adding that it guides the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to commence and achieve incremental improvements between 2008 and 2025 for all aspects of environmental sanitation.
Dr Tanko Yussif Azzika, Research, Advocacy and Policy Lead, A4WA, said most of the national policies on WASH, which were created during the era of the MDGs were outdated and therefore, did not response adequately to demands of present reality.
He said the position of the Alliance was for a review of all national policies in the WASH sector.
Mr Obeng-Poku, who expressed gratitude to the Alliance for their support and partnership with the Ministry, also urged them to continue with the collaboration.
He assured the Alliance that the Ministry would study their position paper on review of key national WASH policies and all the good inputs in the document would be taken into consideration in the preparation of any future policy document.