Stakeholders within the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector on Friday agreed that government needs to increase the annual budget for the sector since it is the pivot of all development programmes.
Mr Rudolf Amenga-Etego, Executive Director of GrassRoots Africa, a non-governmental organization that advocates improved water and sanitation services especially in rural areas, suggested that 1.5 per cent of government’s annual budget should be dedicated to improving water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Speaking at a day’s workshop to discuss Government’s budgetary allocation for water and sanitation issues, he said about 1.4 billion people will require improved sanitation services in Africa to facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal on water and sanitation.
The workshop was attended by members of civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, staff of GWCL and AVRL and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).
“In Ghana, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) requires about 100 million dollars per year to invest in infrastructure development alone,” he added.
Mr Amenga-Etego identified the lack of money as the biggest obstacle that hinders the implementation of policies that could help Ghana to achieve improved services in the water and sanitation sectors.
He admitted that investment in the sector had seen a slight increase, but water was a high investment sector and the development of the sector was a crucial one for government since water was a basic necessity.
Suggesting alternative sources of funding, Mr Amenga-Etego said there should be a special levy on high water users such as the breweries and the mining companies as well as special taxes, in the likeness of the talk time tax, to ensure enough funding for the sector.