The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) has elected Martin Dery as its new Chairman.
The other elected executives include Atta Arhin, Vice Chairman, Karim Abdul, Northern Zone Representative, Nuhu Umar, Middle Zone Representative and William Domiappella, Southern Zone Representative.
Mr. Dery was elected at the 27th edition of the Mole Conference in Big Ada in the Greater Accra Region.
In his acceptance address, Mr. Martin Dery, the new Chairman of the CONIWAS, said the Coalition would in the coming years advocate for a new concept for water coverage in Ghana. He said CONIWAS would move away from the concept of domestic water coverage to the concept of household water coverage. Household water concept, the Chairman explained, gives impetus to the fact that water service provision at the household level has multiple uses and some of these uses are not just for drinking, but are directly linked to the wellbeing of the household especially nutrition for children.
“We will be advocating that, we should try and shift the goal posts in our definition of water supply that will ensure that household have extra water beyond what they drink and bath and use to cook, to also use to support their livelihoods and income generation,” Mr. Dery underscored. According to the new CONIWAS Chairman, household income was going to be very crucial in Ghana’s drive to promoting safe sanitation at the household level.
“we all know that the free days are over, we have been talking about subsidies for some time now, CONIWAS is not a group just advocating for blanket subsidies, we are interested in targeting, incentivizing, and innovative financing that doesn’t just doll out facilities to people, but that will support people to build their own facilities and to give them some time frame over which they could also contribute to a revolving sanitation fund,” Mr. Dery explained.
To effectively carryout its advocacy activities, Mr. Dery said CONIWAS would avail itself to capacity building opportunities to learn about the numerous policies and frameworks that exists in the sector and to transfer the knowledge to the wider citizens it represented.
Mr. Dery expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all members of CONIWAS for the trust that they have reposed in him and the other executives and promised to work diligently to merit that trust. He also thank UNICEF, IRC Ghana, World Vision Ghana and WaterAid Ghana for their immense support for CONIWAS over the years.