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Building Resilient Systems: Ghanaian Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources Delivers Keynote Address at All Systems Connect International Symposium

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Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, recently addressed the All Systems Connect International Symposium in The Hague, Netherlands. Speaking on the topic, “Strengthening all systems – building resilience with water, sanitation and hygiene (and wider public services),” she emphasized the need for a systems approach to recover from the recent global health pandemic and its economic challenges.

Madam Dapaah highlighted the importance of connecting WASH services to other systems, such as health, agriculture, and urban development. She stressed the need to move away from fragmented and siloed thinking of the past and work differently to build resilient systems. The minister also emphasized the challenges faced by countries in achieving universal access to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene by 2030.

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Ghana has adopted a systems approach for improving WASH service delivery in the country, according to Madam Dapaah. While Ghana achieved the Millennium Development Goals targets for water in 2010, the country has yet to achieve the same feat for sanitation. To address this, Ghana is pursuing a transformative agenda in the WASH sector by enhancing private sector participation in water supply services and establishing a fund for households to install their own toilets.

The Minister also highlighted the need for support from development partners to achieve the goal of sustainable WASH services for all. Madam Dapaah’s keynote address was well received by ministerial-level delegations from Ghana, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, Rwanda, and Uganda, as well as over 700 changemakers and system leaders globally.

For the most part, Madam Dapaah’s speech underscores the importance of a systems approach to building resilient systems to deliver WASH services. It highlights the need for collaborative efforts from various sectors to achieve universal access to WASH services and attain the Sustainable Development Goals. Ghana’s efforts to adopt a transformative agenda in the WASH sector could serve as a model for other countries to follow.

 

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