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Regional News of Friday, 30 October 2015

Source: GNA

Top down approach would not help in achieving SDGs - Minister

Mr James Zuugah Tiigah - Upper East Regional Minister Mr James Zuugah Tiigah - Upper East Regional Minister

Mr James Zuugah Tiigah, the Upper East Regional Minister, has observed that the top down approach of the formulation of policies and programmes would not help the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Minister, who said this at the opening of the 26th Mole Conference, held in Bolgatanga, explained that every region had a peculiar problem and they would, therefore, need different approaches and policies in tackling the SDGs.

The four-day conference organised by the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) is on the theme: “Financing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene within the SDGs; Options and Strategies.”

It was aimed at strategising how to help the country to achieve the Goal six of the SDGs, which seeks to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation.

The Regional Minister proposed that in working towards achieving the SDGs, there was the need to map out policies and programmes taking into consideration the peculiarities of all the regions.

He said, for instance, that the major sanitation problem confronting the Upper East Region was open defecation and indiscriminate disposal of polythene bags and not choked gutters as found elsewhere.

He emphasised that apart from enforcing policies; there was the urgent need to involve communities in the implementation of policies and programmes to enable the people to own such programmes.

“Again, the active involvement and participation of Civil Society can go a long way in contributing to the provision and sustainability of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities, and also ensure accountability of service providers as they are aware that the eagle eyes of the communities and Civil Society are on them,” Mr Tiigah noted.

The Regional Minister said the Government and District Assemblies had to take centre stage in mobilising local resources for the implementation of the Goals.

He appealed to communities to pay the cost for the maintenance of WASH facilities to help sustain the 85 per cent of the country’s provision of Water under the Millennium Development Goals.

Whilst expressing concern about the way and manner food vendors went about their activities under unhygienic conditions, the Regional Minister said the Government had initiated policies like the National Sanitation Day and the transfer of ownership and management of facilities to communities, all aimed at contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

In a speech, read on her behalf, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Mona Quartey, lauded CONIWAS for complementing the efforts of Government over the years in the area of WASH.

She gave the assurance that the Government was committed to achieving the Goals and would rally behind them to realise the dream.

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