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Ghana’s regulatory environment for WASH remains weak -Report

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By: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Members of the Agenda for Change (A4C) Ghana Collaboration, comprising WaterAid Ghana, World Vision Ghana, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), IRC and PATH, have called for a stronger regulatory environment for WASH resource management.

Analysis conducted on Ghana’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Systems in ten Local Assemblies by members of the Agenda for Change (A4C) Ghana Collaboration and existing analysis results contained in the Ghana WASH Sector Strategy Development Program (GWSSDP), the Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) and African Sanitation Guideline Assessment Tool (ASPAT) have shown that the country’s regulatory environment for water and sanitation remains very weak.

According to the group, a new water policy, ongoing rural water reforms, and a stronger regulatory environment for WASH resource management and service delivery are crucial to ensuring that Ghana’s water resources serve as a catalyst for positive socioeconomic transformation for present and future generations.

Addressing participants at the maiden WASH Systems Watch conference in Accra, the Country Director of WaterAid Ghana, Madam Ewurabena Yanyi-Akofur, argued that a stronger regulatory regime for the WASH sector coupled with impactful innovation, initiatives and investment will help the country achieve sustainable management of water resources, promote economic growth, and improve the quality of life for all.

“Today’s deliberations and conversations at this maiden WASH Systems Watch conference are critical to the sector. This is a great example of partnership with the government and provides a safe space to challenge, support, and build collective action informed by evidence.

This session will refresh our understanding of our national building block status, validate results from the ten districts studied, and most importantly, delve into ongoing conversations around rural water sector reforms, focusing on our regulatory environment in water service delivery and resource management,” she said. 

The aim of the A4C Ghana Collaboration initiative is to promote collective action, support national and local governments, and adhere to joint principles that promote and strengthen collective capabilities to deliver permanent and accountable WASH services.

Delivering his keynote address, the Director General (DG) of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Kodjo Mensah-Abrampah, also reiterated the call for a stronger WASH regulatory environment framework.

According to him, the state loses millions of dollars annually due to weak regulatory systems across all sectors.

“Another reason Ghana’s scarce resources go waste is that there are multi-duplicate of roles and functions. This is because there are no proper processes and systems put in place to monitor who is doing what in a given environment,” Dr. Mensah-Abrampah revealed.

He commended the group for their efforts and hard work done so far and urged them to work together to improve and strengthen WASH systems management.

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