The Acting Director of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Naa Lenason Demedeme, says that the 2010 Ghana Compact signed in Washington will be revised, if Ghana really means to attain her 54 per cent Millennium Development goal for sanitation and hygiene by 2015.Speaking exclusively to the Ghana Water and Sanitation Journalists Network,GWJN, Mr Dememdeme noted that the nebulous nature of crucial sections of the Ghana Compact makes it extremely difficult to track the level of funding into the sanitation and water sector.At the first Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting(HLM) in Washington in April 2010, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, pledged that Ghana will ‘spend up to USD 200 million annually from now up to 2015… make additional outlays of USD 150 million annually towards improving environmental sanitation … and an additional commitment of USD 50 million annually to reinforce hygiene education.’But development partners, DPs, and civil society organisations such as GWJN have questioned government’s commitment to this pact, considering that just 14 per cent of Ghanaians use improved sanitation facilities, while an estimated five million Ghanaians defecate in rivers, gutters and bushes each day.According to report by international aid agency, WaterAid, ‘Ghana is one of 57 countries currently most off-track to meet its sanitation MDG target. On current trends, Ghana is due to halve the proportion of people lacking sanitation by 2123, missing the MDG sanitation target by 108 years.’ No wonder that the capital, Accra, other cities and towns have been hit by several bouts of deadly cholera outbreak over the years.. Asked how much of the USD 400 million annual pledge had come into the sanitation sector, Mr Demedeme said, ‘I don’t have the exact figures, but government has made available what it can afford.’At the second HLM this year, Ghana reported that it met 46 per cent of its 2010 commitment and 70 per cent of its 2011 commitment to the WASH sector, but no concrete details have so far been released.Mr Demedeme stressed that government was doing what it could, it would always have to rely on multi-donor budget support. He added that in some years up to 70 per cent of the budget for water and sanitation services came from donors.‘The Ghana compact is not too clear about the exact roles and responsibilities of the partners in the framework,’ says Mr Demedeme . ‘We should be able to look at the compact again because the compact indicates that the Ghana government in partnership with development partners .And if you want government alone to shoulder the USD 350 million bill for the sector each year, then we have a problem.’ If government contracts loans, are they part of the compact commitment?, he quizzed.Naa Demedeme added that ‘In the next couple of days, we’ll start the process of revising the compact to get a lot of things clearer. Civil society will be involved in the revision that will clearly delineate what the responsibility of government is and what role DPs should play.’ On why Ghana is woefully off track when it comes to sanitation coverage, this is what Naa Demedeme said:‘The underlying issue has been low investment. If you compare the investment in the water sector to the investment in the sanitation sector, it is now surprising that the water sector has made significant progress. Water they say is life. If you go to any community and prioritise their needs, water comes first before sanitation.’‘Donors themselves,’ he added ‘when coming with some investment in water and sanitation, the budget for sanitation is always an afterthought, normally around five or ten per cent.’He however indicated that the situation is changing as most of the new donor budgets that have come split the investment equally for water and sanitation.Mr Demedeme cited the most recent European investment bank,EIB, facility which has split the investment equally for water and sanitation.
GHANA TO REVISE SWA COMPACT-EHSD BOSS
GHANA TO REVISE SWA COMPACT-EHSD BOSS
The Acting Director of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Naa Lenason Demedeme, says that the 2010 Ghana Compact signed in Washington will be revised, if Ghana really means to attain her 54 per cent Millennium Development goal for sanitation and hygiene by 2015.