The 35th anniversary celebration, 2013 Annual Report and the Anniversary Fundraising Drive of World Vision Ghana (WVG) have been launched in Accra.
The theme for the anniversary celebration is ‘Every child in Ghana deserves clean water.’
In an address at the launch in Accra, yesterday, the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon Alhaji Collins Dauda, said given the enormity of the task of providing water for all Ghanaians, government would continue to strengthen collaboration with all stakeholders, including WVG.
Hon Dauda said while the Ministry formulated policies for the water sector, WVG had, for the past 35 years, provided Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services to several communities, especially in the rural and peri-urban areas.
He disclosed that from 1985 to 2013, WVG had invested over US $100 million in the provision of clean water by drilling 3,800 boreholes fitted with hand pumps and mechanised water systems, and provided rain water harvesting systems to several institutions.
He noted that the intervention of WVG in the WASH sector had extended to programmes such as health, maternal and child health care, nutrition, education and gender and development.
Furthermore, Hon. Dauda said, WVG, together with other stakeholders in the water sector, had supported government in the eradication of Guinea worm in Ghana.
He commended WVG for its contribution towards the human and material development of Ghana, noting that in its work, WVG had maintained a focus on women and children, considered the most vulnerable in society, who bore the brunt whenever there was water shortage.
In a statement, Hon Benita Okity-dua, a Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, commended WVG for 35 years of service to the poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable persons in Ghana.
“Many of us are witnesses to the increased access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, improved health, quality education, food security and economic empowerment that World Vision’s interventions have brought to deprived and vulnerable communities,” Hon Okity-Dua noted.
She said the Ministry, as the government institution responsible for co-ordinating social protection programmes in Ghana, would continue to partner all relevant stakeholders to develop the necessary structures and systems, including a common targeting mechanism that would ensure that social protection interventions adequately satisfied the needs and reduced the vulnerabilities of the rural poor and other categories of disadvantaged persons.
She disclosed that the Ministry had received support from WVG in the development of a draft National Child Policy, which conformed to the country’s family system, to ensure the adequate protection and welfare of all children.
Hon. Okity-Dua noted that safe water and good environmental sanitation were necessary for the survival of children, noting that Ghana was inching closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals on water (rural and urban).
She, therefore, stressed the need to redouble efforts to improve on water and sanitation services delivery and, thereby, reduce infant mortality, and improve maternal health in the country.
Mr Baba Mahama, Vice Chairperson of WVG Advisory Council, who launched the 35th Anniversary Fundraising Drive, noted the continuity and sustainability of WVG would require adequate financial resources and investment in personnel.
Mr Mahama said WVG could not continue to depend on foreign financial support, adding that WVG had generated enough goodwill and credibility to be able to generate funds locally.
In his closing remarks, the Chairman for the occasion, Mr Nene Abayateye Ofoe Amegatcher reiterated the need to generate funds locally to support the activities of WVI.
Mr Amegatcher expressed the hope that the anniversary would trigger the strengthening of relations between the WVI and government for the general good of the country.
Welcoming participants, the National Director of WVG, Mr Hubert Charles, said the well-being of children was the flagship of WVG and that the approach of WVG to programming aimed to contribute to the well-being of children, especially the most vulnerable.
Mr Charles said the development approach focussed on children and sought to enable their families and local communities address the underlying causes of poverty.
He said WVG was hosting the West Africa Regional WASH Centre― served Ghana, Mali and Niger― by providing technical support for water, sanitation and hygiene-related interventions.
He disclosed that over the last three years, WVG had reached 3.5 million people with water, sanitation and hygiene and that the number was expected to reach 10 million people by the year 2016.
WVG, as a member of the worldwide World Vision family, is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to produce human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the god news of the Kingdom of God.
WVG started working in Ghana in 1979 and now operates 31 programmes in the ten regions of Ghana, targeting 6.4 million children and their families.
Source: ISD (G. D. Zaney)