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Sanitation Ministry Can't Do Much With Donor-Dependent Budgets

Sanitation Ministry Can't Do Much With Donor-Dependent Budgets

The Minority is raising red flags about the huge donor components in the budgets of some ministries that have been approved by Parliament.

According to Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the aid component of the Sanitation and Water Resource Ministry’s budget which makes up more than half of its allocation, flies in the face of the President’s mantra of Ghana beyond aid.

Similar concerns were raised about the budget of the Local Government Ministry.

Speaking before Parliament approved the GHc 183 million budget for the Ministry on Wednesday, Mr. Fuseini held the view that “the budget for this [Sanitation and Water Resource Ministry] is donor-driven and not domesticated [enough].”

President Nana Akufo-Addo’s mantra in recent times has been that Ghana, and Africa as a whole, can reach a point where they can thrive without having to rely on aid, which the Minority leader referenced when he voiced the Minority’s concerns.

“There is a new paradigm shift. In the budget for 2017 and 2018, the Minister of Finance happily shared a leaflet saying Ghana beyond aid. Let it not be words. Let it not be talk. Let it be marked by action, including adequate budgetary allocations for the purpose of achieving two important sustainable development goals.”

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President Akufo-Addo, who currently serves as the co-Chair of the Group of Advocates of Eminent Persons of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, has conveyed the optimistic rhetoric that African countries can thrive without having to depend on aid and assistance from the west.

He has also charged African leaders to devise internal measures to address the problem within the continent without resorting to donor support.

In this light, the Minority Leader’s plea to the president was to lead by example.

“The President must walk the talk, and walk the talk such that the other countries will learn from the Ghana experience. To that extent, the Ministry deserves improved allocations,” Mr Idrissu said.

Embarrassing loan for toilets
Concerns with the foreign dependency to tackle sanitation issues were previously raised by the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, who expressed his displeasure with $45.7 million loan facility from the International Development Bank to finance a sustainable rural water and sanitation project.

This project is to help expand access to, and ensure sustainability of water supply and sanitation services in rural and small-town communities in six regions of Ghana.

“60 years after independence, we still think that we have to borrow to build a toilet in communities. Mr. Speaker, It might be laughable, but I think that we need a change of mindset… when we go to our development partners to look for money, we must be looking for money to do more serious things and not building toilets,” the MP said in Parliament in November.