Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ouagadougou hosts GWP/IUCN workshop for West African Journalists

Participants at the 2011 workshop in Conakry, Guinea

The Global Water Partnership, West Africa (GWP-WA ) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN-PACO), will today begin a five-day capacity building workshop for 30 selected journalists from the sub-region in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou.

It will be under the theme “Mining and the protection of the environment and natural resources in West Africa" and will attract a dozen parliamentarians from 10 countries of West Africa, as well as half dozen experts in the fields of mining, environment and environmental legislation, administration officials and sub-regional institutions as both resource persons and participants.

The sixth in the series of annual sub-regional workshops for journalists which is taking place from October 1, 2012 to October 5, 2012, the organisers say, aims at affording the media persons an opportunity to interact with specialists in environmental protection, mine operators, state specialised services.

It will also enable them undertake a field visit to a mining site - either abandoned or in operation, to measure the full range of effects, but also the measures taken ​​by the different actors for protection and/or minimising the effects of mining.

According to GWP-WA and IUCN-PACO, the workshop will also enable the journalists to have discussions with parliamentarians on issues around the question of mining in relation to water and the environment; inform and educate the media on this environmental problem in the West African context, which may be exacerbated due to climate change and bring the journalists to be at the forefront of the debate on mining, to allow them relay the environmental concerns to policy makers and their citizenry.
At the end of the workshop,  the organisers say they expect the journalists and parliamentarians to have a better understanding of the relationship between the environment and mining, while they enjoy a strengthened and sustained relationship through their networking.
Also, apart from articles that will be produced by the journalists attending the workshop  for their newspapers, radio, TV and Internet, a brochure collecting press cuttings will be produced at the end of the workshop, as well as a disclosure and awareness magazine in both soft and hard versions, for the attention of actors on the theme of the workshop, in collaboration with the journalists present at the workshop.
It is also envisaged that through the workshop the synergy between the GWP-WA and IUCN-PACO collaboration will be strengthened.
Participants at the workshop will engage in two days of immersion in the general concerns, undertake a one day site visit, and use two days to write articles and produce radio magazines.
Countries participating in the workshop include Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Gambia, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Senegal.
Speaking to the choice of the theme for this year’s workshop, the organisers said while the West African basement is richly endowed with significant mineral resources such as gold, uranium, bauxite, iron, phosphate, diamonds and manganese, their conditions of extraction and processing, in most cases, do not follow international standards for the protection of the environment.
And the presence of mining sites undoubtedly impact natural resources and landscapes. In addition, security issues related to public health and landslides are recurrent,” they stated in a reference material for the workshop.
The last regional workshop was held in Conakry, Guinea in May 2011 under the theme; “Sharing strategies for the sustainable management of forest resources and adaptation to climate change.”

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Water and Sanitation Journalists Network launched in Kumasi

Members of the Ashanti Regional GWJN

The Ghana Watsan Journalists Network (GWJN), a grouping of journalists with interest in and focus on water, sanitation and hygiene issues, has inaugurated its Ashanti Region branch in the capital city of Kumasi.
The over 25-member branch was inaugurated by GWJN’s Deputy National Coordinator, Edmund Smith-Asante, Friday, September 21, 2012, after a two-day training workshop organised jointly by Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), WaterAid in Ghana (WAG) and the GWJN.
Prior to the inauguration, the Ashanti Region GWJN members elected into office for a two-year term, a five-member executive committee.
The newly elected executives are Ibrahim Abubakar, TV3 - Regional Coordinator ; Joseph Kyei-Boateng, Daily Graphic - Deputy Regional Coordinator; Matilda Afrane, Light FM -Regional Secretary; - Gifty Amofa, GNA - Regional Treasurer and Gideon Duodu, Daily Democrat - Regional Organiser.
All the executives except the Regional Organiser, were elected unopposed by an overwhelming majority. The organiser position was keenly contested by three members and went into a run-off, since no one obtained the 50% plus required.
Speaking on behalf of the executives in their acceptance speech, Ibrahim Abubakar thanked the membership for the confidence reposed in them and pledged dedication to the cause for which they have been elected.
One of the three main objectives of the workshop was the introduction of participants to some WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sector policies and strategies such as the 2010 Ghana SWA (sanitation and water for all) compact, the 2012 Ghana Renewed commitment to SWA and the Revised Environmental Sanitation Policy.
The others were discussions on advocacy opportunities for engagement with government ministers, policy and decision makers at all levels and ways to strengthen the Ashanti Region branch of the GWJN.
Mr. Ibrahim Musah addressing the participants
Taking participants through Ghana’s 2010 SWA Compact as well as its renewed commitments at this year’s High Level Meeting in Washington D.C., Mr. Ibrahim Musah, Head of Policy and Partnerships (HOPP), WaterAid in Ghana, urged them to become abreast with the contents of the two documents and others so they could effectively engage policy and decision makers.
Edmund Smith-Asante, Deputy National Coordinator, GWJN, also took the journalists from various media houses in Kumasi through the start of the network, what it has been able to accomplish since its inauguration in 2009 as well as its future plans, and urged them to be worthy WASH advocates.
He also stressed on the need for them to make use of  the internet through blogs and the network’s website, by writing good stories that could be posted on them and further take advantage of social media sites like facebook and twitter among others to advance WASH issues.
Facilitation of the workshop was done by Ms. Ida Coleman, stand-in Communications and Campaigns Officer, WaterAid in Ghana, who commended the enthusiasm and participation of the journalists during the two-day workshop.
Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), is a programme supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
It is an innovation that brings local and global expertise to deliver water and sanitation services to the urban poor, with CARE and Water Aid as partners in Ghana.
Under the WSUP is the Oforikrom Water and Sanitation (OWAS) project, which offers an opportunity for the media to learn at firsthand, some interventions and approaches being used by development partners and Government of Ghana to arrest the appalling water and sanitation situation in the country.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Least Developed Countries express worry over Kyoto Protocol


The Alliance of Small Island States (SIS), the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and the Africa Group, which together represent over a billion people most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, has expressed worry that the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol is eroding.
In a joint statement issued to mark the close of the UN climate change negotiations in Bangkok, Thailand, the group said “We are concerned that the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol, which is the only international treaty that legally binds developed countries to lower emissions, and thus our lone assurance that action will be taken, is eroding before our eyes.”
Urging countries to fulfil their responsibility to address the climate change crisis, the Alliance outlined some key expectations for the remaining days in Bangkok, as well as the upcoming talks in Doha.
Saying this will require action in Doha that prioritises reducing emissions that is in line with the latest scientific recommendations, they charged Annex I Parties – including those that have not yet submitted Quantified Emission Limitation Reduction Objectives (QELROs), to raise the ambition of their economy-wide emission reduction commitments and submit legally binding, single number QELROS without conditions for inclusion in an amended Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol.
“The second commitment period should be for a length of five-years to avoid locking in insufficient ambition,” while “The use of surplus units from the first commitment period must be dramatically curbed in the second commitment period to protect the environmental integrity of the second commitment period,” the Alliance charged.
The SIS, LDCs and Africa Group also stressed that Parties must reaffirm that legally binding QELROS inscribed in Annex B for the second commitment period are required for all Annex I Parties wishing to participate in the mechanisms.
“Parties must affirm that the compliance system of the Kyoto Protocol applies to the second commitment period,” while “Annex 1 countries that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol should take ambitious commitments under the LCA,” they charged further.
In the view of the Alliance, if hard decisions to cut emissions are not made by all developed countries, developing countries will be forced to confront issues of adaptation on a previously unimaginable scale.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). It was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh in 2001, and are called the “Marrakesh Accords.”

The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

The main distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilise GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.
Recognising that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”

Monday, September 10, 2012

Island countries call for move from fossil fuels to renewable energy


A global gathering of islands numbering 48, convened by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in co-operation with the Government of Malta, has pushed for a move from dependence on fossil fuels to renewable sources to ensure a safer and more prosperous future.
At the meeting called on 6-7 September 2012, the island states called for sustainable development based on renewable sources and technologies.
The 130 participants including 15 at ministerial level, along with representatives from the private sector, discussed the expansion of renewable energy deployment to ensure a safer and more prosperous future. 
At the two-day conference, ministers and representatives of the island countries and territories, resolved to build on the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development two months earlier.
Speaking at the conference, Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General, said islands could learn from each other’s experiences in solving energy problems and also show the way for the rest of the world to make the transition from unsustainable fossil-fuel dependence.
“Most islands around the world today depend for the majority of their energy needs on imported fossil fuels, which are expensive at the best of times and subject to drastic price fluctuations,” he said. 
Adnan Z. Amin added; “At the same time, we have found examples where island states have decisively overcome particular energy challenges by turning to renewables.”
According to him, comparative isolation, small market size, and reliance on fuel imports, leave islands highly exposed to global economic fluctuations, adding, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as those in the Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean are particularly vulnerable.
The island ministers and representatives, for their part, agreed that increased use of renewable sources and technologies would strengthen energy security, generate employment and boost social and economic well-being. 
Renewable energy, including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and ocean energy, as well as biofuel, can be generated locally, with solutions tailored for the circumstances of each island, they opined.
This is notwithstanding the fact that many non-island states also share similar energy challenges.
To deal with this, the IRENA Director-General said; “Islands therefore can establish the practices that are needed for the global energy industry in the years and decades ahead.”
Mr. Amin expressed his hope that the two days of discussions in Malta would be followed by practical actions to deploy renewable energy more widely, while admitting that the Rio+20 Conference, held in June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, provided “an internationally agreed enabling platform for action on renewable.”
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (“SE4ALL”) initiative launched this year, calls for doubling the share of renewables in global energy by 2030.
IRENA, an intergovernmental organisation established with its headquarters in Abu Dhabi in 2009, and which currently has 100 member states and the European Union, as well as 58 signatories/applicants for membership, promotes the increased adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy worldwide.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tindang-Peliga – A beauty marred by open defecation

What future holds for these children of Tindang-Peliga?

The surroundings are lush and the greenness all around alone, will be the envy of many a city dweller. Here, there is no cacophony of noises coming from moving vehicles, tooting horns, screaming vehicle ‘mates’, industrial machinery and milling crowds.

Everything seems so serene and peaceful as the branches of the trees around swing and allow some cool breeze to circulate generously all around. But there is one major problem!

The air circulating so ever freely is foul scented and does not allow normal breathing and inhalation, as well as enjoyment of the soothing breeze and cool atmosphere.

Nevertheless it did not take long to find out the cause of that ever present odour, as an interaction later, with members of the Tindang-Peliga community in the Gushegu District of the Northern Region of Ghana revealed it all – Open Defecation was prevalent.

Tindang-Peliga is 20 minutes drive from Gushegu town, the capital of the Gushegu District.

We were on a fact-finding mission and sensitisation field trip to the Tindang-Peliga community, to ascertain the level of responsiveness of its people in keeping to proper sanitation and hygiene, and what their peculiar needs were, to enable WaterAid in Ghana (WAG) and their local partner, New Energy (both NGOs), as well as the Gushegu District Assembly, to effectively and efficiently implement the sanitation module of the Global Water Sustainability programme (GLOWS) under the West Africa Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WA-WASH) programme in that community.

One of two household latrines in use belonging to the Chief and Leader
During the four-member team’s interaction with some members of the predominantly farming community of Tindang-Peliga, which translates ‘White Priest’, it was gathered that although a well-meaning organisation, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) had assisted many individuals to put up latrines in their homes – 15 in all - just two years ago, in 2010, only two of them, including that of the Priest and Leader of the community, Zachariah Fuseini, were functioning and in use when the team visited.

The reason proffered by the other community members who had abandoned their household latrines was that water had collected in the pits in view of the high water table of the area. “We abandoned them because sometimes when we used them the water splashed on us,” they said.

Others held that because their pits were not lined or cemented, they caved in as a result of the water, and for this reason they abandoned them.

As an alternative, the households for whom the toilets had been built had resorted to open defecation, popularly referred to as free range, hence the stench that had permanently engulfed the otherwise very serene and lush community of 754 adults and a sizeable number of children.

During the very animated discussions with the visiting team led by Mr. Wumbei Abdullah Kofi, Community Development Officer, New Energy, Tamale, the community members disclosed that others too sometimes used a latrine built for the school in the area, although branching off into the bush was the much preferred option when one was hard pressed.

The Result of Open Defecation:
Some women of Tindang-Peliga at the meeting
However, this practice, has apart from resulting in the invasion of house flies from the faeces to food in their homes, diarrhoea and other diseases, brought about quarrels, divisions and shame, especially to the women in the community, we learnt.

Speaking to the team in an excited tone, Madam Ayishetu Kofi, the women’s leader, said “Whenever we go to the bush we are exposed to danger from both snakes and men”, adding “There are always quarrels between households because children who cannot go to the bushes defecate around neighbours’ houses.”

“Even grown up men defecate behind my house and I am not able to drive them away because they do so when I am not at home or sleeping and hide in the bushes behind when it is early morning or in the dark,” Ayishetu Kofi lamented, adding that she always has to endure the stench from the faeces left in the open behind her house.

And as if it was a day for Ayishetus in the community, Ayishetu Sulaimana, an elderly woman in the community who corroborated the leader’s statement, blurted out; “At one instance, after easing myself, I was pulling up my panties, only to find to my horror that I had all along been squatting beside a man who was also defecating behind me – and I didn’t notice that before.”

Nonetheless, the community consisting of 398 females and 356 males, said they know open defecation is not good, but are left with little choice because of the absence of latrines.

Non-functioning Sanitation Committee:
As the interaction progressed, it came to light that although a sanitation committee trained by another NGO was still in place, it had become very ineffective, hence the sorry state of sanitation in the community.

Responding to that assertion, Mohammed Fuseini, a member of the committee said the situation had arisen because community members began accusing them of receiving perks from the NGO when they became vigilant in their work.

Lessons Learnt:
From the interactions it was gathered that there was no proper sensitisation of members who were assisted to construct household pit latrines and so they did not know how to manage them.

Further, they were not even aware of the much touted CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), a model adapted by Ghana to promote proper sanitation - which has largely contributed to their present state and their being overawed by the current situation.

The Way Forward:
This notwithstanding, members of the community clearly indicated they are not happy with their present status as an open defecation community, because they always put themselves at risk when they engage in that, saying when it rains especially, they are not able to go to the bushes to empty their bowels.

They were united in their desire for household toilets but said they are inhibited by the high cost of construction, adding that although they have appealed to the district assembly for support, that has not been forthcoming.

A section of the Tindang-Peliga community at the meeting
with Assemblyman, Mohammed Braimah on the left
But to enable them come out of their present predicament, Assemblyman for the area, Mohammed Braimah, said there is the need for more education to facilitate behaviour change.

In response to the community’s plea for assistance, he assured that plans were already underway to aid individuals construct household latrines and that at the appropriate time the Assembly will attend to the community’s need.

For his part, the community leader, Zachariah Fuseini, who in his exasperation opined that construction of more household toilets would not change things as 13 out of the 15 constructed two years ago had gone waste, however maintained that water and sanitation are critical needs of his community.

Speaking for the women, Madam Ayishetu Kofi, the women’s leader, also said they desired from the WaterAid, New Energy, Assembly and GLOWS WA-WASH partnership, water and a mill to extract shea butter from the nuts they harvest.

Farmers in Tindang-Peliga, which is 103km from Tamale, mainly grow yam, maize, soya beans, rice and millet among other crops and speak Dagbani.

Meanwhile, available statistics indicate that about five million Ghanaians defecate openly daily, while the Northern Region is listed as the region with the  third highest defecation cases in Ghana at a rate of 72.9%.

According to a 2008 assessment by the Water and Sanitation Monitoring Platform (WSMP), the highest defecation cases in Ghana are reported in the Upper East Region with 81.9%, followed by Upper West with 78.7%. The Central Region is the fourth highest on the table with 18.1% and Volta Region fifth with 13.8%.  

Placing sixth is the Western Region with 12.8%; Greater Accra, seventh with 8.1%; Brong Ahafo, eight with 6.4%; Eastern Region, ninth with 5.5%, and Ashanti Region, tenth with 3.4%.

Also, a research report by the Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) of the World Bank, and the Ghana Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate (EHSD), has shown that Ghana loses $290 million each year or about 1.6 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as a result of poor sanitation (WSP-ESI, July 2011).

Perhaps the USAID funded WA-WASH programme will ignite the people of Tindang-Peliga to action, using the magic of CLTS to promote and improve their livelihoods. A candle has been lit and the sanitation revolution is already beginning with GLOWS WA-WASH in Tindang-Peliga, as members of the community showed during the interactions that they are more than eager to better their lot.

For its part, WAG’s expectation is that New Energy will sustain the mobilisation and hygiene promotion efforts in the other communities supported by GLOWS WA-WASH.
The Tindang-Peliga Community
That, WAG believes will keep the flame burning, and with that bright glow, the people of Tindang-Peliga would not have any other choice but be triggered and ready to take their destiny into their own hands, to make their community a true beauty where the air is not fouled.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

World stands to gain more benefits from locally controlled forests - report

An initiative led by three forestry groups, The Forests Dialogue (TFD), International Conservation Union (IUCN) and  the Growing Forests Partnerships (GFP), has established that better benefits will accrue from forests if they are locally controlled other than by large extractive companies.
A statement announcing the findings of a report produced after series of country-led dialogues held during the past three years with over 400 forest owners, investors, NGOs, governments and intergovernmental agencies emphasised that “to increase the incomes of many of the billion forest-dependent people worldwide, the current model for investment in forests must be turned on its head.”
According to the statement, optimising the benefits and productivity of forests requires moving from a ‘resource-led’ model to a ‘rights-based’ system of ‘locally controlled forestry’, that places local control of forests at the heart of the investment process.
Indeed, the report, “Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry”, launched Friday, September 7, 2012 at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress, shows that with the right processes in place, and under the right conditions, almost any individual or group can build a successful forest enterprise.
Buttressing this point, Chris Buss, Senior Programme Officer for IUCN’s Global Forest and Climate Change Programme, said; “A first step is to recognise that many forests and landscapes are inhabited by people with some form of land rights,” adding “Investors are increasingly aware they must respect these rights through recognised processes, although the practical implications of such processes have until now received less attention.”    
He said the learning from the initiative demonstrates that the processes of acquiring forest rights, often result simply in compensation for loss of access to land or resources, rather than a genuine shared enterprise.
“In contrast, a ‘rights-based’ system places local control at the heart of the process. Under this system, the people who own or have rights over the forest are the ones who seek investors and partnerships for managing their natural resource assets,” he explained.
For her part, Minni Degawan, Project Coordinator for KADIOAN, an indigenous peoples organisation based in the Philippines, stated; “The rights-based approach recognises local people’s autonomy and their rights to determine the land’s destiny and to gain income from its effective management.”  
She added that “Empowering local people to make decisions on commercial forest management and land, with secure tenure rights, the ability to build their own organisations and access to markets and technology can be a highly effective way of raising incomes and protecting forestry resources.” 
To Peter Gardiner, Natural Resource Manager for Mondi, however, “Communities, governments and investors all stand to gain from investing in locally controlled forestry.” Stressing that launching a commercially viable enterprise is not without its own challenges and requires adjustments to conventional investment approaches, he disclosed;  “To facilitate this process, the Growing Forest Partnerships which includes IUCN and TFD have developed a practitioners’ manual, to be released later this month, which offers investors and rights holders a step-by-step guide to negotiating commercial agreements.” 
IUCN and its partners from Growing Forest Partnerships is also continuing to gather further information from investing in locally grown forests (ILCF) projects around the world and exploring the possibility of launching a pilot project based on best practices

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Civil society calls for timely release of funds for Ghana's water and sanitation activities

A cross section of participants at the conference
Participants at the recently held annual water and sanitation conference in Tamale, dubbed Mole XXIII, have asked the government of Ghana to ensure the timely release of funds for activities in the country’s water and sanitation sector.
In a 12-point communiqué issued at the end of the 23rd edition of Ghana’s longest running water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conference, the participants, largely made up of civil society in the WASH sector, stated; “The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning should ensure the timely release of budget allocation to WASH sector ministries and allied agencies to enable them implement planned activities on schedule to meet the MDGs, especially on sanitation.”
Making their submissions under the four sub themes of the conference organised by the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) from August 22 to August 24 2012, the participants numbering over 100, also called for the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee on water and sanitation comprising the Ministries of Water Resources Works and Housing, Local Government and Rural Development and Finance and Economic Planning, to facilitate transparent and coordinated resource allocation.
Saying they were well aware of the challenges communities are facing in financing capital maintenance of WASH facilities, the conference also called for the establishment of a national WASH fund that will pool resources from the replacement accounts of Small Town Water and Sanitation Management Teams and other sources.
Participants at Mole XXIII further recommended that the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) be elevated to an Authority with greater financial overview responsibility over rural water operations, to ensure effective operations.
“Fiscal decentralisation should be promoted with transfer of funds to District Assemblies with related competence. This will ensure that district and community level structures have the requisite financial ‘muscle’ to support project monitoring evaluation. This implies strengthening the existing structures towards enhancing decentralised governance of WASH. Governments need to renew the current process and take the necessary measures to address the challenges related to fiscal decentralisation. e.g. inadequate financing,” they demanded.
Touching on the role of development partners in providing WASH services, the forum tasked them to support capacity building by adopting a comprehensive approach which includes tools and equipment to facilitate better performance, in collaboration with national and local governments.
“Citizens’ engagement should be designed to respond to rights/entitlements, relevant laws and policies towards deepening ownership and participation that will culminate in improved governance and sustainable WASH services,” the conference agreed, adding that whilst they acknowledged promulgation of a Legislative Instrument to regulate the WASH sector, thorough dissemination among sector players was very paramount.
The participants also agreed citizens’ engagement is critical and mutually beneficial to leadership and citizens, as it culminates in a win win situation for both, but asked that National and Local governments mainstream the process at the local level with backing from all actors as a minimum accountability mechanism to comply with.
Held under the main theme; “Financing the WASH Sector: Past, Current Trends and Vision for the Future", the conference agreed local governments should explore private sector financing as an additional option or source of financing local development plans for WASH, adding that it should focus on supporting pro-poor, inclusive and equitable service provision.
Further to the role of local governments and other sector actors, participants were of the view that they should effectively plan for sanitation in the short and long term with the necessary financing, to support communities move up the sanitation ladder.
Lastly, noting with satisfaction Government’s establishment of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to provide a comprehensive development blue print for the northern belt of the country, the conference called for deliberate inclusion of pragmatic programmes and projects in WASH under SADA.
Participants at the conference
Decision points arrived at, were under the sub themes; Public Financing of WASH Serviced Delivery: Exploring Options, Capital maintenance financing practices and innovative options for the future, Policies, Standards and Regulations for WASH Services and Private-Public Partnership in WASH Delivery.
Some of the organisations represented at the conference were WaterAid in Ghana, ProNet, Resource Centre Network (RCN), Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA), New Energy, Water Health, Grassroots Africa, as well as agencies such as the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate (EHSD), Water Directorate, Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), and was organised in collaboration with the Government of Ghana and Development Partners in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Emissions reduction not possible without increased finance, world’s LDCs warn


The Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group has warned at the ongoing informal additional sessions of the AWG-LCA, AWG-KP and ADP of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), that there is a big risk key issues could be lost that are vital to protect poor countries from the ravages of climate change, which they are already experiencing.
Even before the next round of climate negotiations began in Bangkok, Thailand, where a climate change conference is taking place, the LDCs group’s chair, Pa Ousman Jarju, of The Gambia urged; “We need massively increased finance for adaptation and for action to reduce emissions and we need to set up a proper international coordination process to deliver resources for adaptation to those in most need.”
“We cannot live with these issues being deferred until a new agreement is negotiated in 2015 and would not even come into effect in 2020,” he warned.
While acknowledging that the entire world is experiencing global warming induced drought, water and food shortages now, Jarju said; “The drought in the USA is costing insurance companies money, but the droughts in the LDCs are causing loss of life and livelihoods, malnutrition in our children and huge dislocation, which is very serious for our survival.”
Emphasising the need for a tremendous increase in finances to enable LDCs adapt and take action to reduce emissions, Pa Jarju listed the four major tasks the Durban meeting in December 2011 agreed on for countries to complete by the December 2012 conference in Doha.
These are, the adoption of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, start of a new treaty negotiation, raising the level of ambition and concluding their [LDCs] long negotiations under the 2007 Bali Action Plan, which must deliver on finance and adaption.
Pa Ousman Jarju stated that “The Bali Action Plan is fundamental in protecting the interest of LDCs – right here and right now, and not in ten years’ time,” adding, “Our attitude towards it reflects our attitude towards any future agreement. Two years of dialogue followed by five years of negotiations with interim key decisions in Cancun and Durban cannot just be ignored as if they never happened.”
Further, he stressed that “It is extremely important that Governments agree to respect the commitments they have already made to provide finance, technology and capacity building to developing countries, and to enhance cooperation to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change and not to use the focus on a new processes to avoid past promises.”
“ We cannot indefinitely delay action, especially with regard to climate change, which is already upon us,” the LDC chair added.

GJA 2010 Award Winners

GJA 2010 Award Winners
Dzifa, Emelia and Gertrude

GJA 2011 Award Winners

GJA 2011 Award Winners
GWJN's 2011 GJA Award-Winning Team

New WASH-JN Executives

New WASH-JN Executives
They are from left - Edmund, Ghana, Aminata: Guinea, Alain: Benin, Paule: Senegal and Ousman: Niger

Celebrating Award

Celebrating Award
The benefits of Award Winning!

Hard Work Pays!

Hard Work Pays!
In a pose with my plaque