President John Dramani Mahama has given the assurance to work within the next three weeks with Non-Governmental Organisations within the water sector to find a lasting solution to end the problems facing the sector.
Outlining his policy plans for the next three months, the President noted that the implementation of many crucial programs had stalled and “I am trying to reprioritize the execution of critical projects.”
“Almost every ministry runs some kind of social safety net program. We aim to consolidate these. By enhancing coordination, we hope to more substantially improve people’s lives,” he said.
President Mahama admitted the challenges being faced in the production and supply of potable water in the country noting that, “Water supply production and distribution remains a challenge, and citizens are already paying a lot for potable water. Poor rural residents do not have proper access to these water sources. NGOs are helping us to address these problems. Within the next three weeks, we will work hard to find a solution to this challenge.”
He also acknowledged the problems that sanitation posed to rural and urban water supplies.
He said without doubt that although government has drawn a policy to decentralize sanitation delivery, “the plan was poorly implemented.”
Therefore, he noted that, “By the end of next week, a national sanitation task force will roll out a public/ private sanitation program.”
Among other things, President Mahama stated that there was the need to work towards free secondary and tertiary education “with an eye to what is practical at this historical moment.”
Currently, he said government was in the process of reviewing all outstanding debts to educational institutions; of which payments would be made by the close of next week.
He said, “Ghana cannot eradicate poverty with an illiteracy rate of more than 33% of the population. We aim to educate every child in the country in the coming years so that these children can play roles in our nation’s development…Free education is a right, and millions of Ghanaian families benefited from this during the first republic and today. We must help those in need advance beyond the primary level.”
The President’s policy statement coincides with the 40 days since the passing of his predecessor, the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills.
In his message to Ghanaians, President Mahama said, “Ghana, our motherland, is getting more united and stronger and we’ve come too far to turn back now. Today is 40 days since the passing of Mills, and in our tradition 40 days is the time to take stock and announce decisions concerning the future.”
“To immortalize him, we must recommit ourselves to his vision for a better Ghana. My task is to insure completion of the former president’s agenda. We must work on the economy, development, and transparency.”