Access to Clean Drinking Water Remains a Challenge for 1 in 5 Ghanaians – Insights from GSS**

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GHAA2015 03021.JPG
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The recent findings from the Ghana Statistical Service’s (GSS) 2022 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) shed light on the persistent issue of inadequate access to clean drinking water across various regions of Ghana. Approximately 19.1% of Ghanaians faced challenges accessing sufficient drinking water in the month preceding the survey.

Among the regions, the Northern Region stood out with the highest percentage of individuals lacking adequate drinking water, where one in every three individuals (32.1%) faced this challenge. The Oti (31.2%) and North East (26.2%) regions closely followed suit. In contrast, the Upper East (14.0%) and Ashanti (14.5%) regions reported comparatively lower percentages of individuals without sufficient drinking water, indicating disparities in access across different parts of the country.

The GSS, in alignment with the World Water Day theme of ‘Water for Peace’, released a statement highlighting the concerning statistics. It revealed that 6.5% of the population had to endure journeys exceeding 30 minutes round-trip to access drinking water, with the North East Region recording the highest percentage of individuals facing this challenge.

Moreover, the statement emphasized that three in every five Ghanaians did not have water directly available on their premises. The Savannah Region reported the highest proportion (89.8%) of individuals lacking water on their premises, significantly surpassing the national average. Similar trends were observed in the North East and Oti regions.

Interestingly, disparities were also noted in terms of wealth distribution, with individuals in the lowest wealth quintile facing greater challenges accessing drinking water compared to their counterparts in the highest wealth quintile. This inequality was evident in both rural and urban settings, highlighting the complex socio-economic factors contributing to the water accessibility issue.

While certain regions like Greater Accra and Ashanti exhibited higher percentages of individuals with access to basic water services, the disparities remained pronounced, with the North East Region reporting the lowest percentage of the population with access to such services.

Furthermore, the report highlighted the concerning practice of individuals using unimproved water sources, such as unprotected dug wells or springs, without treating the water. This poses significant health risks and underscores the urgent need for improved water infrastructure and hygiene education initiatives across the country.

In light of these findings, addressing the water accessibility challenge requires a multi-faceted approach involving infrastructure development, policy interventions, and community engagement. Collaborative efforts from government agencies, NGOs, and local communities are essential to ensure sustainable access to clean drinking water for all Ghanaians.

The GSS has made the 2022 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey report, along with relevant resources and microdata, freely accessible for further analysis and action planning. This transparency and data-driven approach underscore the commitment to addressing pressing societal challenges and improving the well-being of all citizens.

While progress has been made in certain regions, the findings underscore the persistent challenges and inequalities in access to clean drinking water across Ghana. Urgent and concerted efforts are needed to achieve the goal of universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, ensuring a healthier and more prosperous future for all Ghanaians.

Source: Myjoyonline


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