Experts in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector have called on government and other development partners to invest in natural infrastructure to solve environmental challenges.
According to them the recent extreme droughts and floods had forced an evaluation of how water infrastructure impacts other sectors, highlighting the need for a multi-disciplinary, cross-sectoral approach to balance environmental, social and economic concerns against a backdrop of climate change.
They maintained that investing in natural infrastructure will help achieve food, water and energy security.
Addressing the media in Accra at a day- workshop to expatiate further on the theme for the 2018 World Water Day celebration, “Nature for Water”, the Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission (WRC), Mr Benjamin Ampomah explained that “success of natural infrastructure investments depends on partnerships between sectors and the rise of champions to scale up natural infrastructure to make it part of the solution for current and future resource challenges”.
He therefore called for a deliberate policy on behavioural change that subscribes to the use of nature based solutions for challenges with water resources
The Executive Secretary of the WRC hinted that usually the first thing that comes to mind when there is a flood or a water related challenge is to call for the construction of drainages and infrastructure
He however explained that the use of infrastructure may not be the best of solutions for water related challenges such as floods.
“Using nature such as the availability of wetlands or the creation of wetlands in many cases could be used to solve such water related challenges,” Mr Ampomah said.
The Executive Secretary of the WRC however explained that not all water challenges could be solved using nature.
“There is the need to combine both green infrastructure and grey infrastructure for effective water solutions”, he noted
He suggested that people needed to be encouraged to use green grass instead of pavement blocks in their house.
He reiterated the called for an effective inter-sectoral approach where lead institutions were appointed to oversee the various approaches on solving water challenges.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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