The Director of the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, says improving water supply and sanitation is critical if the country is to meet the Millennium Development Goal's.
He was speaking at the launch of the 64th New Year School and conference in Accra, which is under the theme “the key to future health of our nation: Improved water, sanitation and Hygiene”.
Addressing the gathering Prof. Oheneba-Sakyi indicated that challenges in the water and sanitation sectors demand a continuous dialogue by stakeholders.
The aim of the 2013 edition of the new year school and conference is to create a platform for a dispassionate discussion of how the nation could deal with the challenges of inadequate safe drinking water, poor sanitary conditions, inadequate hygiene education, poor physical planning strategies as well as indiscipline and lack of enforcement of sanitation law.
Borne out of the philosophy of liberal education, the annual New Year school and conference has evolved to become an important calendar activity of Continuing and Distance Education and the University of Ghana.
Touching on the theme for this year’s conference “the key to future health of our nation: Improved water, sanitation and Hygiene” Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, stressed that to improve the sanitary condition in most cities in the country, there is the urgent need for drastic changes in people’s behavior and attitudes.
He indicated that failure to do so will mean Ghana will miss the Millennium Development Goals.
“The 2010 census noted that the proportion of households using public toilet facilities increased from 31.4% in the years 2000 to 34.6% in 2010. That of households that use bit latrine reduced from 22% in 19% in 2010”. He said. He added that in spite of some gains made in improving sanitation, “the evidence is clear that the majority of Ghanaians lack decent toilet facilities”.
Sub themes for this year’s news year school include, improved water for all: Realistic Policies and strategies, Ensuring improved sanitation for all: The role of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, Gendar Dimensions of water, sanitation and hygiene, among others.