Centre to tackle sub-region’s water and sanitation challenges launched

SanitationA Research Centre to lead efforts at tackling water and environmental challenges in the West African sub-region has been launched in Kumasi.

It is a joint project by the Ghana Government, the World Bank and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

The Centre would carry out studies and research into water supply trends, state of the environment and sanitation in the sub-region, and find innovative and efficient ways to deal with identified challenges.

Professor Samuel Nii Odai, Pro Vice Chancellor of the KNUST who is the head of the water and sanitation Centre, said it would assemble research fellows from Ghana, Gambia, Senegal and Benin to look at case studies on solid waste management and environmental protection.

Other areas that are going to engage the attention of the working groups include urban and rural water supply, water resources, flooding and climate change, urban and rural faecal sludge management, sanitation and hygiene.

He said it was time the sub-region built the capacity and strengthened its management of the water supply and environmental sanitation sectors.

Prof William Otoo Ellis, Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, noted that water and environmental sanitation were key components of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

It was on the basis of this that the university would support training programmes intended to build the capacity of the people in those areas.

The Centre, he said, had planned to develop relevant water and environmental sanitation programmes at the Masters and Doctorate levels, and also run short courses on these sectors to benefit the nation.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), inadequate access to water and sanitation were affecting agricultural development, food security and the health of the people.

This, it noted, was fueling poverty in the sub-region.

With many of the people engaged in open defecation, the sub-region is ranked among areas that have gained notoriety for water-borne and other communicable diseases.

Source: GNA

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