The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), on Monday held a dissemination workshop on the guidelines for targeting the poor and vulnerable for basic sanitation services form service providers in the Upper West Region.
The workshop was to inform sanitation service providers on how to properly target the poor and vulnerable groups in their service provision as contained in the guidelines.
Mr Kweku Quansah, a Deputy Director at the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, presenting the guidelines, said several sanitation assessment reports had showed that the poor and vulnerable groups in society had been excluded in sanitation service provision over the years.
That, he said, necessitated the need for the Ministry to develop the guidelines in 2018 for targeting the poor and vulnerable for basic sanitation services in Ghana to ensure an inclusive and equitable sanitation service provision.
“Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 required access and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and to end Open Defecation (OD), paying attention to women and girls and those in vulnerable situations by 2030,” he explained.
According to Mr Quansah, most poor and vulnerable people were not able to construct household latrines due to factors such as lack of interest, lack of funds and disability among others, hence the need to properly target, trigger and support them.
Mr Quansah noted that since the implementation of the sanitation guidelines, more awareness had been created for practitioners to bring on-board the poor and vulnerable people in the sanitation service provision.
He said issues of enforcement of sanitation bye-laws at the district and municipalities’ level had been a challenge, and that strict enforcement of such bye-laws could deter some people from practicing OD as well as motivate people to construct household latrines.
The sanitation guidelines required Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to draft and Gazette sanitation bye-laws to include issues of pro-poor targeted in sanitation service provision at those levels.
“All stakeholders and partners are encouraged to adhere to these guidelines to ensure the acceleration of progress towards attainment of the SDG 6,” sections of the guidelines read.
It further required District Environmental Sanitation Strategy and Action Plans (DESSAPs) to incorporate pro-poor strategy for providing basic sanitation service to the poor and vulnerable at the assembly level.
According to the guidelines, the process of identifying and targeting poor and vulnerable would be done by the MMDAs in consultation with and led by community members.
Mr Quansah commended sanitation actors and stakeholders in the Upper West Region for their activism in the Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign, which had led to improve regional ODF coverage of 62 per cent.
Madam Freda Natu, the Upper West Regional Director of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, said the success chalked by the Region in the sanitation sector was as a result of the collaboration of all stakeholders including traditional authorities and the private sector.
She said the traditional leaders played a very crucial role in the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) campaign by ensuring the enactment and enforcement of community bye-laws on sanitation.
The document is a guideline for targeting and providing basic sanitation services for the poor and vulnerable in the country, developed by the MSWR with support from stakeholders in the sanitation sector.
It became necessary due to the low access rate of sanitation, which had a dire consequence on the socio-economic development of the country.