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Indian Envoy Confers With Minister Of Sanitation   
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Mr Sugandh Rajaram (left), Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, explaining a point to Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, during the meeting in her office.
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The Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Sugandh Rajaram, has paid a working visit to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, to explore new areas of cooperation between the two countries.

The visit was also to help strengthen the existing ties between the two countries and discuss the various projects being undertaken by the Indian government locally, especially in the area of water and sanitation.

At the meeting held in Accra last Monday, Mr Rajaram said it was also to officially introduce himself to the ministry as the new Indian High Commissioner to Ghana and set the tone for further cooperation.

He mentioned India’s support to Ghana to include a US$30 million water system project in Yendi to be funded by the Export-Import Bank (Exim bank) of India and expressed India’s commitment to its successful completion and replication in other parts of the country.

He said India, like Ghana, had a number of sanitation and water challenges but was making tremendous strides in addressing those challenges and he was optimistic that it had a lot to offer Ghana with regard to its experiences and successes in the area of sanitation and water delivery.

Mr Rajaram expressed gratitude to the minister for agreeing to participate in the India–Africa forum in India later in the year and assured her that India had put in place adequate measures to deal with any unforeseen situation in the country.

South-South cooperation

The Sector Minister, Ms Cecelia Abena Dapaah, referred to Ghana and India’s collaboration as South-South cooperation and said it was critical for mutual development because both countries were confronted with similar challenges, which obviously would have similar solutions.

Referring to the Clean River Ganga project, an Indian Project to clean one of its major rivers and rid it of chemical and other pollutants, Ms Dapaah said Ghana also had a similar problem of pollution of water bodies due to illegal mining and the country was in the process of researching into the type of pollutants and contaminants in the water bodies to see how Ghana and India could compare notes to reclaim water bodies under threat from pollution.

That, she said, was one benefit of international cooperation, indicating that countries with similar challenges would not have to reinvent the wheel in instances where one had made strides with solutions.

Water is life

Ms Dapaah said good water was life and sanitation gave dignity and that was why President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo declared a national vision of water and sanitation for all.

“As you are aware, he is also a Co-chair for the implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

She stated that the country was fortunate to have a special ministry standing on its own to drive the national agenda on sanitation and water to ensure that the needed attention was given to the sector in the interest of the public and citizenry.

Ms Dapaah said the government had put in a lot of resources to make sure that by 2030, all communities in Ghana would be open defecation free.

She said a number of projects had been introduced nationwide and so far 103,000 household toilets had been provided in the last three years, an indication that the government was on course and poised to eradicate it at all cost, especially due to its health implications.

“The figures from the field are very encouraging; as of July 2019, we had over 5000 communities out of open defecation as against 4010 in 2016.

With water, she said efforts were being made to increase rural and urban coverage and that the government had given the approval to link them up to major water supply systems rather than just boreholes to ensure no discrimination in water supply.

She also said the vision to make Accra the cleanest city in the sub-region was also on course and added that there were initiatives such as the establishment of a special multi-ministerial and technical taskforce to operationalise and direct the delivery of the government's agenda for a Clean Ghana and making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
Source: Daily Graphic

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