Realising the human right to water and sanitation: The Republic of Ghana
Under the End Water Poverty campaign 'Keep Your Promises', EWP and our member organisation Muslim Family Counselling Services (MFCS) have produced a Country Briefing on Ghana. This aims to be a very useful advocacy resource outlining the current situation of access to water and santiation in the country. The Briefing also clearly outlines what government needs to do to fully realise the human right to water and sanitation. Civil society is calling for change!
The government of the Republic of Ghana has recognised this right by signing on to key international treaties, as well as establishing a number of domestic level policies and programmes focused on water and sanitation. All of these have assisted the government to work towards realising the right by improving access to safe, affordable, available and sufficient water and sanitation. But not enough has been done. While access to water has improved significantly, with 89% of the population having access – the government has not worked to ensure the standards of the right have been realised, and are failing large sectors of the population. While many families have access to water, it is often inconsistent and unreliable, with many facing the regular reality of having to go days without clean piped water. This results in families having to resort to using unsafe water, or forced to buy water from vendors at a highly overinflated price, significantly impacting limited income and resources available.
Access to sanitation is of significant concern, and is dramatically lagging behind, as only 15% of the population have access to sanitation facilities. Those most in need, vulnerable and marginalised groups such as women, children, the sick and the poor have been left behind. These groups are forced to defecate in the open, or use unsuitable and unhygienic sanitation facilities. The government must take further action to make effective change and improve people’s lives. They must ensure all citizens throughout the country are able to access affordable and safe water, and therefore, a better future.
Muslim Family Counselling Services used this Country Briefing in their advocacy to highlight the poor state of water and sanitation in the country. On presenting the report to several government MPs, they were shocked at the terrible state of sanitation, and have made commitments to raise this in parliament and push for improvements in WASH. Great news indeed about successful advocacy! Governments, keep your promises!
For more information on the reality of access to water and sanitation in Ghana, download the full EWP Ghana Briefing and use it in your advocacy work to call for change! We must fully realise the human right to water and sanitation for everyone, and ensure that no one is left behind.
Muslim Family Counseling Services (MFCS) is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1990 as a problem solving organization at a time where discussing family planning and other reproductive issues were almost a taboo in Muslim communities of Ghana. The prime aim of the organisation is to provide information and services on a number of important topics and issues for communities in Ghana. For more information on MFCS, visit their website.