FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS STATEMENT BY WORLD VISION IN GHANA TO COMMEMORATE WORLD WATER DAY 2021
Accra – Monday, March 22, 2021. The importance of water to human beings cannot be overemphasised. Water promotes improved health, livelihoods and general well-being. Indeed, it is often said that Water is Life and no strategy for poverty reduction can ignore people’s vital requirement for safe water.
Sadly, millions around the world, including Ghana, do not have access to this vital need. It is not uncommon to find women and children travelling long distances in search of safe water but only ending up fetching water from rivers, streams, unprotected ponds and other contaminated water sources. In several rural and small towns, community members still share drinking water sources with cattle and other animals. Forty-nine percent of public basic schools lack access to safe water on their premises (EMIS 2018).
As we celebrate World Water Day 2021, World Vision wishes to congratulate the Ghanaian Government, development partners, NGOs/CSOs, private sector and other non-state actors for working hard to ensure that an increasing percentage of Ghana’s population has access to safe drinking water (MICS 2017/18). We, however, need to remind ourselves, that while we have made some strides, some six million children and their families still lack access to safe water.
We also need to pay attention to water quality and the inequalities associated with access. The 2017/18 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey report reveals that close to eight in every 10 households had E-coli (faecal contamination) in their drinking water, while close to five out of 10 water sources were also affected. The same report also reveals clear wealth disparity in basic water access, with the wealthy nearly twice more likely to have access than the poor do. Additionally, urban dwellers are more likely to have basic access than those from rural areas.
As believers in a better world for children, World Vision lives and works in communities to co-create water, sanitation and hygiene solutions that last. We believe that of vital importance to child well-being is access to safe drinking water. Globally, the organisation is the largest non-governmental provider of clean water in the developing world, reaching a new person with safe water every 10 seconds.
World Vision reiterates its commitment to partnering with Government, private sector, NGOs/CSOs and other stakeholders towards increased access to safe water. We join practitioners in the water and sanitation sub-sector, and all Ghanaians, in calling on decision-makers to do the following, as a matter of urgency:
- Prioritise and increase investments to ensure that every child everywhere has access to safe water;
- Explore and invest in alternative water supply systems where underground water is not feasible;
- Take immediate steps to address water quality challenges, both at the source and in households including those identified in the 2017/18 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey report;
- Pay attention to the delivery of safe water in schools and healthcare facilities in order to create a conducive environment for quality education and healthcare;
- Create the enabling environment required to implement policies that will ensure the sustainable management of water supply systems.
“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them” Isaiah 41: 17 (NIV).