CONIWAS Commends Government’s Commitment To Presidential Compact

CONIWAS Commends Government’s Commitment To Presidential Compact

On June 8, 2023, in Accra, the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) and its strategic partners expressed appreciation for the Government of Ghana’s dedication to a presidential compact aimed at actualizing universal access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services for all Ghanaians.

This compact is designed to elevate political prioritization and commitment, establish connections between policies and implementation plans, programs, and projects, enhance investments to address key challenges, reinforce ownership and leadership, and achieve good governance and accountability.

The compact, one of five introduced by African Heads of State during the UN Water Conference in New York on March 22, 2023, and subsequently discussed at the All Systems Connect International Symposium in The Hague in May 2023, aims to expedite access to water and sanitation services. This includes augmenting budget allocations, diminishing open defecation, and providing climate-resilient services.

The commendation was conveyed during a Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) policy dialogue with the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources. This dialogue took place after the Minister’s participation in the two international conferences held in March and May 2023, where ministerial delegations from Africa and other regions were also present.

The Hon. Minister said:
“We had the opportunity to announce and discuss the Ghana Presidential Compact for WASH in New York and in The Hague. The compact will be anchored at the Presidential Level to bolster government’s leadership and commitment. It will include pushing through two pieces of legislation which will establish a National Sanitation Fund and convert the Community Water and Sanitation Agency from a facilitator to a rural water utility to bring in the needed efficiency; along with other actions including enhancing private sector participation in water supply services and establishing a fund for households to install their own toilets. A team is working on the compact and the CSOs will be represented. The reviewed water policy is also ready, but we are connecting with other related ministries for inputs to enable us bring finality to the document.”

The Executive Secretary of CONIWAS, Basilia Nanbigne said:
“We commend the sector ministry and the government for committing to the Presidential Compact to make universal access to WASH for all Ghanaians a reality. We are glad that the national sanitation authority and the rural sub-sector reforms are some of the issues to be highlighted. These are significant steps and we are happy to work with your team in developing the compact. We also applaud the ministry for the leadership in reviewing the water policy, and developing the sustainable WASH development Framework: Ghana WASH sector development programme. We wish to call for the launch and roll-out of the water policy and the start of the process of reviewing the environmental sanitation policy.”

The CSOs policy dialogue with the sector minister was to formally welcome her back from the international WASH conferences, to discuss the commitments and intentions expressed at the events and to find out the expected role of CSOs and other strategic partners in supporting the laudable plan. The policy dialogue was co-convened by CONIWAS, IRC Ghana and partners.