Sunday, November 18, 2012

WaterAid urges Ghana Government to keep promises on water and sanitation

Dr. Afia Zakiya
We don’t want vain promises on water and sanitation. When you make promises keep them because people are dying from the lack of these basics of life.
Today, this message will be one of many that hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe, including Ghana, will be sharing with their governments, to push for better sanitation, water and hygiene services and facilities.
WaterAid in Ghana, an international NGO headquartered in the UK, will be joining people across the globe in calling for an end to unfulfilled promises on providing access to safe sanitation and clean water, as the international charity launches its Keep Your Promises campaign.

As part of the campaign, WaterAid offices and other organisations working across Africa, Asia and Latin America will be writing to, delivering petitions to, or meeting with their politicians today to tell them that words are not enough.
Also, throughout the year, campaigners will be coming together on key dates and joining forces to organise mass global actions to ensure they get their voices heard.
Specific to Ghana, today, November 19, 2012, WaterAid in Ghana (WAG) will formally launch the global “Keep Your Promises on Sanitation and Water” with its stakeholders, WASH sector partners and collate as many signed petitions calling on all decision makers to keep their promises to take action to end the water and sanitation crisis, and work towards providing sanitation and water for all.
The petitions will then be submitted to Ghana’s decision makers as an advocacy document, and to show them that the world is watching!
The launch, as well as others around the world, is taking place as part of the 12-month international Keep Your Promises campaign being launched today by End Water Poverty, WaterAid and dozens of other international water and sanitation organisations.
Commenting on the campaign, Dr. Afia Zakiya, WAG Country Representative, said: “We welcome the commitments made by our Government but too many of these remain unfulfilled or off-track. Children are still missing school and still dying needlessly from disease caused by unsafe sanitation and contaminated water. To solve the sanitation and water crisis, politicians need to stick to their word and honour the commitments they have made”.
Underscoring the importance of the campaign, by way of a press statement, the international NGO said: “Governments have made international commitments to ensure safe drinking water and sanitation for the world’s poorest countries and communities.
“The Government of Ghana alongside other country ministers at the SWA HLM in Washington in April 2012 made a commitment to increase water and sanitation budgets annually by at least 15% in real terms and to ensure funding is not only provided for WASH infrastructure but is also allocated, by at least 10% of all WASH allocations, to hygiene promotion, behaviour change and demand creation.”
In the statement, WAG added that “The government made additional pledges including a financial commitment of about US$ 400 million annually over a 5-year period from 2011 to 2015.
“These monies should be used to accelerate sanitation delivery, ensure funding is not only provided for WASH infrastructure but is also allocated, by at least 10% of all WASH allocations, to hygiene promotion, behaviour change and demand creation.
“However, 783 million people across the world still lack access to clean, safe water, while 2.5 billion have no adequate sanitation. Governments must act now to bring an end to this sanitation and water crisis, which is killing around 2,000 children under the age of five every day across the globe.”

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