On Friday 31st May 2012, the Ghana ministry of local government and the ministry of water resources and housing with the support from UNICEF, introduced the National strategy for Household water treatment and safe water storage (HWTS) to stakeholders at the National Level Learning Alliance Platform in Accra. The strategy was intended to contribute to a measurable reduction in waterborne diseases by encouraging the adoption and long term use of effective HWTS, especially by those populations that do not have access to safe drinking water.
Speaking on behalf of the director Environmental health and sanitation agency (EHSD), Mr. Kweku said that for the past two years House-hold water treatment systems have not high up to the agenda and the ministry has been working tirelessly to bring the Household water treatment strategy to scale. It was also noted that Household water treatment is behavioral change issue that needs to be addressed high up.
The strategy has three independent approaches: behavior-first approach, public private partnership and commercial/business approach. The behavioral first approach emphasizes a framework that considers persuasion, enriched by social marketing, community mobilization; communication intended to influence people ‘s behavior.
The public-private partnership is any explicit joint program or project involving public and private collaboration to provide services and products to the population. The third approach is intended to create market for the products creating an incentive for more companies to join the HWTS market.
The stakeholders said the HWTS strategy was in line with the UNICEF guides on household water treatment hence will compliment provision of water as well as the quality. The delegates also said that as much the strategy is on track, there was need for establishment of a regulatory body to assess the quality of the chemicals used for water treatment. During the closer of meeting, the director of water directorate (Fredrick Adda) suggested that HWTS should be embedded into the national water policy and also efforts be put on rainwater harvesting and storage.