Jan 31, 2013 at 4:51pm
Importance Of Efficient Management Of Rains
COMMENTARY ON THE IMPORTANCE OF EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT OF RAINS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOAL OF IMPROVING ACCESS TO POTABLE WATER
Water is a key ingredient for life. It regulates the activities of fluids, tissues and cells, among other elements in the human body. It is also priceless for the transportation and replenishment of nutrients in the soil. Increased access to potable water is paramount towards the prevention of water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea and bilharzia among others.
A research finding has it that water borne diseases account for 13 percent of deaths in children in Ghana today. According to a world health report, diarrhoea kills about one point eight million people every day in the world. Considering this importance of water for development, the organizers of this year’s New Year School could not have hit the nail on the head any better with their choice of theme: “Improved water, sanitation and hygiene, the key to future health of our nation’. Ghana is privileged to be on track to achieving the millennium development goal of halving the proportion of the population without access to safe water, however critical challenges exist. Although as a nation we are well endowed with water resources, negative environmental practices make it a daunting task to have total access to potable water. One gift of God which is essential for water conservation when well managed is rainfall.
Rainfall is an important supplement for our water resource; however it is sad to note that there are several human acts that stand in the way of favourable rainfall pattern and efficient management of the rains. The rains are in quite early this year. One method by which rains which productively support our water needs can be handled is through the practise of rain water harvesting. Rainwater harvesting is invaluable, since it minimizes erosion and flooding which have been thorny issues for many Ghanaians for some time now. The metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies should endeavour to promote the use of waste bins by all homes. This will prevent the temptation of people dumping refuse into run-off water. One programme that should also be encouraged is regular desilting of drains to free them from pollutants. The Information Services Department, National Commission on Civic Education, non-governmental organizations and all other stakeholders should consider strategic advocacy campaigns to educate the public on the need to adhere to worthwhile environmental management practices to manage our water bodies. Non-Governmental Organisations like Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies deserve a pat on their shoulders for doing a yeoman’s work to protect water bodies. Currently The National Development Planning Commission and the United Nations system in Ghana are embarking on a post 2015 national consultations on ‘the future we want’ as a Nation. If there is one issue that we all need to share ideas about, it is the efficient ways by which we can prevent the rains from being a bad master rather than a good servant to ultimately help ensure access to potable water for all even after 2015.
BY: DAVID OWUSU-AMOAH, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING COMMISSIO N.