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Only 50% of Ghanaians have access to potable water

The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) has stated that though water is a human right, only 50% Ghana’s population have access to potable water.

It said, as a result, 40% of those who do not get access to potable drinking water die every year from water-borne diseases.

These were made known when ISODEC organised the First Water Citizens National Forum (FWCNF) in conjunction with COSPE and the Water Citizens Network.

It brought together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and members of various community platforms affected by pollution.

The forum facilitated an action on the human right to water through constructive interaction between the CSOs and duty bearers.

According to the forum, water has been described as a source, but also as an issue of human right in terms of access to consumers across the world.
In Ghana, people still use water from unsafe sources, and the activities of small-scale mining continue to pollute water bodies in regions where water has become scarce.

The forum was, therefore, to fight and protest against natural resource grabbing, especially in water and land grabbing of common resources, and the systematic violations of the associated human rights.

Mr Bishop Akolgo, Executive Director of ISODEC, welcoming participants to the forum, said without a clear strategy, CSOs would not be able to win the debate that water is a human right and not just a commodity.
He called on the participants to find a clear definition that water, just like air, cannot be a commodity.

The human body, he mentioned, contains 70% of water, and it is next to air, clearly indicating that water cannot be made a commodity, particularly in Africa.

On his part, Mr Herve Desol, a Director at the European Union (EU), sponsors of the form, said the EU has declared the year 2015 as the EU year of celebrating development based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He said Ghana and its development partners are committed to the Citizens for Safe Water project.

Mr Leonard Shang-Quartey, Policy Analyst of ISODEC, said CSOs in the water sector need to work as one, thereby delinking urban water from rural water.
He added that a lot more attention has been paid to urban water than rural water.

Mr Shang-Quartey announced that the Ghana Water Company Limited is currently doing 80% urban water and 70% rural water in collaboration with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency.
One of the major obstacles to the principles of right to water, he said, is the activities of water grabbing that led to countries struggling to manage water resources.

The forum was on the theme ‘Achieving Implementation of the Human Right to Water in Ghana: Threats Opportunities and Recommendation.’

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