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Business and Economics

Stakeholders call for involvement of local people in water management

Accra, Sept. 26, GNA – Stakeholders in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector (WASH) have called for a collaborative effort between policy makers and the people living around Ghana’s water bodies in managing and sustaining those resources.
     It was part of a series of platforms to engage stakeholders including the media on how to manage water resources and sponsored by CONIWAS.
     The stakeholders were of the view that small committees be set up to manage the resources in that regard and members educated, as community members did not understand issues relating to water.
     “The people should be first made aware of the fact that water is precious and a resource and the need to prevent them from being polluted.”
     Dr Mawuli Lumor, Principal Basin Officer of Water Resources Commission, who led the discussion said a lot of farmers, due to greed give their lands to illegal miners, who later pollute the water bodies because they do not follow due process.
     He said the people should know the need to damp their waste at the right places and not haphazardly, which in the end would contaminate the water bodies.
     Farm activities such as spraying, application of pesticides, fertilisers and insecticides by those who plant along the water bodies should be discarded as they also end up polluting them.
     Dr Lumor said Open defecation, especially, those at the banks of the rivers later sip into the water bodies contaminating them.
     The citizenry should be sensitized on the necessity of hygiene and their responsibility to take care of the WASH facilities provided for them.
    He said there should be a dedicated fund to keep Operation Vanguard at post for a while to instill discipline in those who pollute the water, else their work would be useless, as such people would come back to pollute the river bodies when they left the sites.
     Assemblies should enforce the existing laws on ensuring quality water, good sanitation and hygiene and punish offenders to serve as a deterrent.  
     Ms Mercy Amokwadoh, Project Coordinator for the Hope for Future Generations, a non-governmental organization, which is into behavioral change communication, advocacy and health education, among others, expressed discontent about people turning water lands into refuse damps, saying, it was because they did not understand water issues. Others, she said also built on them with the advancement of technology.
     She said it was high time sanitation and water challenges were addressed as they mostly affected women and children, which if not handled quickly, would pose a threat to their health and economic activities.
     Ms Amokwadoh called for attitudinal change among Ghanaians in terms of WASH, stressing that, if everyone did the right thing, the problems would be resolved and Ghana would grow.
      Ms Vida Duti, Country Director for IRC-Ghana said Ghana would not meet the SDG 6 (provision of water and sanitation to everyone) if it did not strengthen policies, stop indiscriminate damping of refuse, open defecation, tackle the relationship between agric/mining and water bodies, among others.

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