Marking World Water Day: Ghanaians still lack access to safe water despite progress

 

A little boy drinking water fetched from the polluted dam in Mafi-Kumasi

 

Data released by Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network, indicates that a total of 663 million people globally do not have access to clean water.

This was contained in an Afrobarometer Round 6 (2014) survey signed and issued yesterday to mark World Water Day.

According to the report, in Ghana, water shortages force citizens to queue for hours even after trekking to distant sources.

The report pointed out that despite efforts by successive governments to improve public access to potable water, Ghana was still struggling to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ensuring that everyone has access to safe water.

That problem, according to the report, was further being compounded by the collective failure of the government and citizens to protect the nation’s water bodies.

In May 2016, it noted that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicted that the country will fall into a severe water crisis by 2025 if nothing is done to reduce the increasing pollution of water bodies and forest degradation.

The report noted that the EPA also projected that without a decisive action, the country’s per-capita water availability will be 1,000 cubic metres per year, making Ghana a water-stressed country and presenting a potential source of inter-community conflict.

A similar projection by the Water Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research showed that potable water sources were diminishing at an alarming rate and that the country faces a water crisis by 2030 if current conditions persist.

“In his Independence Day address to the nation on March 6, 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo underlined this issue, saying, “There is nothing we can do better to pay homage to those who fought to free us from bondage than to dedicate this 60th independence anniversary to protecting our environment and regenerating the lands and water bodies,” the report recalled.

 

Story by Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu

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