WATERAID Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) dedicated to the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education in Ghana has launched a new climate change campaign, with renewed focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
Dubbed ‘ Climate Change, Water and Me,’ campaign, it is an adaptation of WaterAid Global Water and Climate Campaign, which seeks to raise awareness on the impact of climate change on access to WASH and advocate for policy changes.
The campaign aims to secure the investment of money, people and skills needed to build strong, resilient WASH systems and achieve SDG6’s goal of available and sustainable water and sanitation for all.
Research undertaken by WaterAid revealed that climate change is exacerbating the water crisis for the billions of people around the world who already lack reliable access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation services.
Head of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at WaterAid Ghana , Mr George Yorke at the launch of the campaign, stated that “our experience tells us that improved access to WASH services can help build the resilience of vulnerable communities to the worst effects of climate change.”
He stressed that “this campaign will have a more national focus, however, the issues from the subnational and community level will inform the content of campaign agenda.”
People are water secure when they have access to well-managed water supplies and services.
Issues such as illegal mining, weak governance, a lack of political drive to provide services for all, inadequate finance, and environmental damage are among reasons why people may not be able to access the water services they need.
Climate change is another of these threats and is attracting increasing global attention.
With average temperatures one degree higher than they were a century ago and further rises already locked in, the effects are already being felt with changes to the patterns of extreme weather events.
According to Mr Yorke, “increasingly we will face situations of either too much or not enough water as droughts and floods become more frequent and extreme. “
He noted that in Ghana, illegal mining also posed a serious threat to access to safe water, adding that “for many people, safe WASH is the difference between coping and not coping with climate change. “
WaterAid Ghana was poised to make sure WASH services are recognised not only as fundamental to development but also essential if people are to withstand the impacts of climate change.
“With SDG 6 far from being met, urgent action is needed,” Mr Yorke stated, lamenting that “Too often, WASH services are overlooked by governments and donors and lack the scale of investment needed
Country Director of WaterAid Ghana, Ewurabena Yanyi-Akofur lauded the efforts of the organisation’s partners and was confident of their support as WaterAid focuses for the next five years on three main areas including its WASH and climate change programme.