Ghana has joined the rest of the World to celebrate Water Day with a call on government to ensure water is supplied to all in the COVID-19 period.
“Water is very crucial for everyone, especially in these trying times and it is sad that some parts of Ghana have been experiencing water shortages in recent times,” a statement said on Monday.
“We would like to call on government and all stakeholders, particularly the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to work hard in resolving the challenges and ensure people have water for all essential uses at this time,” it added.
The statement, which was signed by Basilia Nanbigne, Executive Secretary of Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) and copied the Ghana News Agency, said the provision of safe water and sanitation should be regarded as a social good that protects the public from various diseases including outbreaks like COVID-19.
Currently, the Corona Virus Pandemic had taken over the world and had highlighted the importance of hand hygiene as experts have emphasized the need for regular handwashing as one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of the virus.
“The need for water at this time by the entire populace cannot be overemphasized,” the statement said.
“As we celebrate World Water Day (WWD) today, we would like to join stakeholders to call on government to ensure that water was available in adequate quantities to every Ghanaian to aid effective hand washing, as we all fight against this deadly virus.”
It said that Ghana has been known for many water and sanitation related disease outbreaks, especially cholera.
“We also call on all Ghanaians to use water responsibly and to contribute their quota in the protection of our water bodies.”
The statement also noted that water was crucial for the survival of every being in the world and with the outbreak of COVID-19, the acute water shortage in the country would not augur well for all.
The commemoration of WWD every 22nd March was instituted by a UN conference in 1992 at Rio de Janeiro, to call on the world, to recognize the importance of water for lives.
The WWD has been commemorated under several themes annually since 1992 but the underlying message has been to remind everyone to protect water resources and for every country to provide safe water to everyone regardless of the place they are located.
This year’s theme is, “Climate Change and Water”, which emphasizes the need to protect water resources.
According to the United Nations, over two billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources.
And by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.
The NGOs commended government on its efforts to ensure that Ghanaians had access to safe water.
“It is heartwarming to know that 86 per cent of Ghanaians have access to safe drinking water,” it added.
“There is however more work to be done to reach the unserved and to ensure that water quality is assured from the source right up to the point of use.”
It also noted that, “Galamsey activities continue to threaten our freshwater bodies despite measures put in place.”
It called on government to deepen its efforts at curbing the menace to ensure the safety of Ghana’s water bodies.