Implementation of ‘’Wash’’ in the era of COVID-19 in Ghana.
By Jessica Ahedor
Provision of safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions are essential in protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreak including COVID-19. Also, ensuring good and consistently WASH and waste management practices in communities, homes, schools, marketplaces, prisons and health care facilities will further help to prevent human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19. According to World Health Organization, WHO’s position and guidance paper on WASH in the era of COVID-19, governments including Ghana, are to ensure that their citizens have access to WASH resources to curb the spread of the virus.
In Ghana, President Nana Akufo Addo during his fifth address to the nation since the pandemic broke directed Ghana Water Company Limited to ensure stable water supply to Ghanaians among other social interventions in the fight against COVID 19. The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources together with its agencies and the Local government ministry are to ensure sanitary environments in Ghana.
But implementing these aspects of WASH in an era of a pandemic in Ghana is fraught with challenges. While measures are in place, to serve the citizenry in Ghana, some residents at at the heart of Accra are left out. Musah Yakubo is a resident at chorkor, one of the densely populated suburbs of Accra bemoaned the irregular access to water supply. “Since the president made the announcement of free water, our taps have been dry. Even if the taps will flow is at midmorning 1 am and we can’t wake up at those ungodly hours.”
Other suburbs in the peri-urban enclave expressed their frustration saying we buy the water from the water tankers if we don’t pay them how do we get the water; says Laureen Aikins a resident at Kpone- Kantamanso.
Clifford Braimah, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Water Company, claims modalities to supply water to areas without access has been reached, but also warned that all customers who are off grid for non-payment of bills will not be reconnected. “For areas without water we have agreed to supply them with water through water tankers. Adding people who are owing us, we expect that they pay before they get free water.”
Nelson Akatey, Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources admitted some urban and peri-urban enclaves in the country are not connected to the national grid. But blame the situation on Ghana’s population growth. Adding as the country’s population keep growing the demand for basic amenities keep increasing unfortunately the logistics needed for these needs to be addressed are not readily available. But the Ministry together with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency is facilitating supply for communities without access.