The 3rd Ghana Water Forum was organized under the theme “Water and Sanitation Services Delivery in a Rapidly Changing Urban Environment” at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra. The Forum brought together stakeholders involved in the Water and Sanitation sector to deliberate on challenges facing Ghana’s efforts in providing access to potable water and improved sanitation especially in rapidly growing urban centres.
In the keynote address which was delivered by the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon. Alban S. K. Bagbin on behalf of the President of Ghana, Prof. John Evans Mills, the President affirmed the commitment of government to providing 85 % of Ghanaians with potable water by 2015. This is higher compared to the MDG target of 76%. He also called for increase support from the private sector in the provision of sanitation facilities in both rural and urban communities. He further urged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure that appropriate toilet facilities are available in homes and called for the implementation of bye-laws on sanitation at the local level.
The Forum also created the platform for presentations of refereed papers on all aspects of Water and Sanitation. In order to achieve the MDG sanitation coverage of 52% nationwide, CEESD called for review of the revised Sanitation Policy of 2010. CEESD argued that the current policy is too weak on targets, a situation that makes the policy difficult to evaluate. CEESD further called for the policy to revolve around the concept of the 4Rs – Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Recovery – with regards to waste management. Two additional papers were presented by CEESD: solar water purification and technologies for treating underground water resources.
In the final day, a communiqué was released which called for the setting up of a water fund to support the deployment of interventions in the water sector. It is hoped that government would commit enough funds in order to achieve the target on water access by 2015.