Ghana – National WASH Conference to focus on climate change

Ghana’s 21st National WASH Stakeholders Conference dubbed Mole Conference, comes off in Accra on Tuesday on the theme, “Global Climate Change: A Challenge For The WASH Sector in Ghana.”

According to the Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation Sector (CONIWAS), the Mole XXI Conference, which will be held from July 20, 2010 to July 23, 2010, is focusing on Climate Change because it is becoming increasingly clear that the phenomenon poses a dire threat to the realisation of a world of hope, tolerance and social justice, where improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), help the poor and vulnerable to live in dignity.

“The poor people that CONIWAS seek to serve are already experiencing the impact of climate change in their day –to- day lives. As a result of climate change greater numbers of people lack access to adequate and safe water, health threats are increasing, more people are suffering from hunger, productivity in natural resource based livelihoods is declining and poor people are getting poorer,” a paper prepared by the planning committee of the conference and CONIWAS secretariat stated.

The coalition deduced that the poor in Ghana, as in the rest of Africa, are especially vulnerable to climate change, due to the range of negative impacts they must deal with, the sensitivity of most livelihoods to climatic changes, and people’s low adaptive capacity.

“The impacts of climate on the WASH sector in Ghana have become more apparent in the past five years than ever. Many communities are observing a drastic decrease in the yields of water facilities (boreholes and wells), many wells that previously provided sufficient water to communities are drying up, and reservoirs for urban water supply are under increasing threat of drying up with severe consequences on water supply, sanitation and hygiene,” the NGOs stressed.

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