‘Establishment Of National Sanitation Authority On Course’

The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, has in a speech read on her behalf at a media engagement stated that the government's promise to establish a National Sanitation Authority (NSA) was on course.

She said preliminary works undertaken by the government, in collaboration with stakeholders, had been completed.

What was left of the exercise, she said, was with regard to aligning the proposed NSA with existing policies and mandates of other public institutions in the sanitation sector to build the right synergy and avoid the NSA from being undermined by existing institutions due to conflict of interest.

The media engagement was on the progress made so far with the establishment of the NSA. The event took place in Accra yesterday.

Ms Dapaah said the NSA was expected to coordinate and regulate activities in the sanitation sector to propel the synergy that was required to make the desired impact in the sector.

The media engagement was organised by the Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (MCODe), in collaboration with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and other stakeholders.

The MCODe was established a year ago to support and enhance national efforts at improving sanitation, particularly ending open defecation.

Ms Dapaah said the NSA formed part of the government's determination to resolve the sanitation challenges, particularly with regard to programme coordination, policy implementation and regulation.

She said due to the technical nature of engineering required in the sanitation sector, there was an urgent need for a specialised national institution to coordinate and manage specific activities for better impact, and that informed the idea of the NSA.

“Sanitation improvement in Ghana requires the efforts of all because of its negative impacts and the fact that its cross-sectorial nature makes it affect everyone without discrimination. The government’s commitment towards addressing the hydra-headed sanitation challenges facing the country is not in doubt,” she said.

Lack of information

The Convener and co-Founder of the coalition, Mr Emmanuel Addai, said the lack of information and evidence on the progress of instituting the NSA informed the media and stakeholder engagement on the NSA.

Drawing focus to the NSA, he said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in November 2017, promised to institute the NSA as part of the National Sanitation Campaign.

However, he indicated that after two years, the body was still not in place although stakeholders had been engaged in the preliminary works that had been completed including the structure of the proposed NSA.

The Research, Advocacy and Policy Influencing Lead for WSUP, Dr Tanko Ussif, said the NSA had become necessary, particularly because of the low performance of the sanitation sub-sector and the commitment of Ghana to deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.