Access to household toilet, water improves — Survey
About 33 per cent of the people have access to household toilets, representing a 15 per cent increase from 2015, while 92 per cent of the entire population have access to water.
This was contained in a recent Afrobarometer survey score card on the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) on water and sanitation.
The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who announced this, said the strides made in the sector were part of efforts by the government to achieve the SDGs.
Ms Dapaah announced this when she took her turn at the Minister’s briefing series, a platform to update the public on government policies and development agenda, in Accra yesterday.
According to her, the focus of her outfit included improving access to places of convenience and providing solutions to the phenomenon of open defecation, improving access to potable water and protecting water resources.
Ms Dapaah said the government was committed to the delivery of universal water coverage by 2030 — a “Water for all agenda”.
She mentioned some projects which were at various stages of completion to include the £43-million two-phased Upper East water supply system, which is expected to serve 347,000 people on completion.
Others are the $223-million Tamale water supply system and the Yendi, Wenchi, Sunyani, Keta and Sekondi-Takoradi water supply projects.
“The Ghana Water Company is also making efforts to replace old pipelines, some 55 years old, in all regional capitals, starting from Accra and Kumasi, to boost water supply,” the minister added.
According to her, Ghana’s total natural renewable freshwater resource was estimated about 53.2 billion cubic metres, with only 14 per cent of it being utilised.
She said although Ghana was also endowed with underground water, it was not wholesome due to human activities, such as illegal mining and water pollution.
“At the end of 2016, 65 per cent of the 16 major river basins were of poor water quality, with turbidity levels less than 50, especially due to illegal mining. The overall ambiance of water quality improved from 51.5 in 2017 to 55.9 in 2018 and further to 57.8 in 2019, representing fairly good quality,” Ms Dapaah said.
She, however, said the overall ambiance water quality reduced to 56.6 at the end of 2020.
She said by the close of February 2021, the quality of major water bodies of the south-western water system, comprising the Ankobra, Pra, Birim ,Offin, Tano and Bia, showed levels of serious deterioration.
On sanitation, Ms Dapaah said in a bid to end open defecation and improve sanitation, the government had provided toilet facilities for about 275,000 people in low-income communities, including more than 34,000 households in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area.
She said 406 disability friendly, fit-for-purpose and gender-sensitive institutional sanitation facilities had also been constructed for 260 schools in low income communities.
Also, a new 51km sewage network in Ashaiman new town in Accra, including a waste water treatment facility with the capacity to process 1,800 cubic meters of water a day, had been completed.