Campaign for access to clean water launched
A campaign aimed at enhancing the resilience of inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in the face of climate change to ensure secure access to clean water in both the urban and the rural areas across the country has been launched.
Dubbed the “Climate Change, Water and Me campaign by WaterAid Ghana, it is geared at developing strategies that would enhance the robustness of WASH services in the country.
This campaign aligns with WaterAid Ghana's Country Programme Strategy, which seeks to ensure the universal access to clean water, proper sanitation and good hygiene throughout the nation.
The three-year campaign would also focus on creating more awareness of the crucial role of WASH services in adapting to climate change while advocating transformative policy changes at both the national and community levels.
At the launch and interaction with its Board of Trustees in Accra, the Country Director of WaterAid Ghana, Ewurabena Yanyi-Akofur, stated that the campaign was aimed at addressing the broad impact of climate change affecting individuals across the society and not solely those in the rural areas.
Thus, she emphasised that the country was going to suffer potential massive impact of climate change if enough attention was not given to the rising challenge.
“So this campaign is designed to activate citizenship involvement, foster active participation and understand the specific contributions of climate change, especially its impact on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)", Mrs Yanyi-Akofur explained.
She stated that through the campaign, the organisation was going to increase the involvement of individuals in the society to address the issue as citizen participation was crucial, especially in the protection of our water bodies and underground water.
Additionally, Mrs Yanyi-Akofur stressed the importance of policymakers in adapting the construction of sanitation facilities and water systems that were climate resilient.
The Head of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, George Yorke, indicated that climate change was exacerbating the water crisis for the billions of people around the world who already lacked reliable access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation services.
That, he said, could be blamed on illegal mining, weak governance, a lack of political drive to provide services for all, inadequate finance and environmental damage to the society.
Thus, the campaign was aimed to secure the investment of money, people and the skills needed to build strong, resilient WASH systems and achieve the SDG 6 goal of available and sustainable water and sanitation for all.
“Having a reliable source of clean water during drought - plus a toilet and sanitation system that can withstand flooding and a handwashing station to protect against illness reduces the overall disease and livelihood risks faced particularly by poor and marginalised communities”.
“ WASH services are therefore a fundamental component of any strong climate adaptation plans”, Mr Yorke explained.
A Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies at the University of Ghana, Dr Bob Manteaw, stated that climate change was gradually impacting the universe and therefore steps were needed to be taken of which water security was no exception.
Thus, he pledged the commitment of academia in collaborating to support, especially through research to offer solutions that would benefit the country and the universe as a whole in the long run.