Mr. Emmanuel Nkrumah, a World Bank Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist has identified political interference in Ghana’s Water and Sanitation sector as a major drawback to the country’s goal at enhancing water accessibility, sanitation and hygiene.
He made the observation at the opening session of a four-day conference of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in WASH (CONIWAS) at Sogakope, in the South Tongu District of the Volta region.
The 29th annual Mole Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conference was under the theme: “Reforming Ghana’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector towards Universal Access.”
Mr. Nkrumah said there was nothing to reform in the sector because the country had the right policies and adequate funds to ensure excellent output except for interference and the need to ensure integrity, accountability and effective monitoring.
“Look, when I talk about enough funding, the World Bank alone, aside other donors, has contributed over 600 million US Dollars to the water and sanitation sector for the past 15 years”, he said.
Mr. Nkrumah said failure to apply right practical approach to policies, often as a result of government’s booting out trained specialists at WASH sector offices, replacing them with their “political and tribal associates”, who abandoned technical and manpower structures were real challenges.
He said the above resulted in apathy among key staff, lack of monitoring, as well as corruption and loss of focus and criticised CONIWAS for failing to raise its voice against such bad conducts of political interference over the years.
“CONIWAS must know that, it is the voice of the rural poor for the WASH sector, when CONIWAS was being expected to raise its voice against a similar interference in the Ghana Water Company under the term of Public Private Partnership reforms years ago, you kept quiet and many people suffered”, he stated.
Mr. Nkrumah, on future funding of the WASH sector, said donors needed not be looked up to again, because water systems developed, the land fill sites and markets built were to sustained the sector if managed well.